Once upon a time there were two big countries, India and Canada, who were very happy with each other in their bilateral relations, and seemed on the right track to sign a promising Trade Agreement.
But it was during – and right after – the G20 Summit in New Delhi that this happy story was derailed, when Canadian PM Justin Trudeau dramatically accused Indian authorities of involvement in the Assassination of a prominent Sikh activist – or terrorist, if you adhere to the Indian denomination – in Canadian territory.
India strenuously denied any participation and urged Canada to curb Kalistani terrorism brewing inside their country.
The diplomatic relations unraveled as Canada said it only harbored the right to free speech by separatists not political terrorism.
So it didn’t help much the Canadian version of things when a Sikh separatist appeared online calling for a boycott to Air India on November 19, with a second video where he hints at danger to those that fly the Indian carrier.
Canadian officials and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are now said to be investigating the threats against Air India .
The Guardian reported:
“The US-based activist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun posted a video last week in which he called for a boycott of India’s flagship carrier. ‘We are asking the Sikh people not to fly via Air India on November 19. There will be a global blockade. On November 19, don’t travel by Air India or your life will be in danger’, he said in the video, a mix of Punjabi and English.
[…] The RCMP said it was working with its domestic and international partners as part of an investigation into ‘the threat against Air India flights’.”
Pannun has denied that his comments amounted to a threat against India’s airline.
“’The video clearly states I’m asking the global Sikh community to boycott Air India and instead Sikhs should fly Air Canada and British Airways’, he said. ‘Where is the threat? There is none’.”
Notice he mentions ‘the video’, and reporters at The Guardian don’t seem to know there is another one.
Also, his calls revived memories of the 1985 Air India bombing, orchestrated by Sikh extremists. Three hundred and twenty-nine people died when Air India flight 182 exploded off the coast of Ireland.
Pannun is the chief legal counsel for the US-based group Sikhs for Justice. Indian officials have labeled Pannun a terrorist and he faces 22 criminal charges in India, including three counts of sedition.
“’RCMP has every right to investigate a terror threat. And if they consider calls for boycott an act of civil disobedience, if that is terror, then so be it, let them investigate’, he said.
‘But Sikhs today are facing genocide and econocide of the Punjab. We are simply asking Sikhs not to make the decision to direct their money towards countries like India’.”
Both Canada’s Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez, and the RCMP say an investigation is underway into the threats.
“Rodriguez said in a social media post that the government takes any threat to aviation ‘extremely seriously’. He says Canada and its security partners are investigating the ‘recent threats circulating online’. His press secretary confirmed Rodriguez was referring to comments about Air India.
RCMP spokesperson Kristine Kelly said police are collaborating with domestic and international partners and ‘industry stakeholders’ in an investigation into ‘the threat against Air India flights’.
CBC News has seen another video circulating online that appears to show Pannun asking Sikhs to not travel on Air India flights on Nov. 19 as ‘there could be a danger to life’.”
Nov. 19 is the final day of the cricket World Cup in Ahmedabad, India, an event Pannun refers to in the video as the World Terror Cup’.
Canada-Based Sikh Terrorist Threatens Attack on Air India Flight on November 19
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