Following the suspension of internet services across Punjab as the police launched an operation to arrest Waris Punjab De chief Amritpal Singh and a number of his associates, a number of Sikh leaders and activists in the diaspora have spoken up.
The Punjab government suspended mobile internet till 12 noon on 19 March. Earlier, Section 144 had been imposed in Sri Muktsar Sahib and Fazilka districts in western Punjab. Other districts too, witnessed a high deployment of police and paramilitary forces.
A number of Sikh politicians in Canada posted strongly-worded statements on their social media accounts soon after this.
Randeep Sarai, Member of Parliament in Canada said on Twitter, "Deeply concerned about news reports coming out of #Punjab, India. The suspension of internet services and restricted gatherings of more than 4 people in some areas. We are closely following the situation."
Jagmeet Singh, Party leader of the New Democratic Party in Canada, said that he was "deeply concerned" by the developments.
Canadian Conservative Party deputy leader Tim S. Uppal tweeted, "Very concerned about reports coming out of Punjab, India. The government has suspended internet services and restricted gatherings of more than 4 people in some areas. We are closely following the situation."
Gurratan Singh, former Member of Provincial Parliament also tweeted about the developments, adding that the "whole world is watching".
Author and poet Rupi Kaur, shared a post by the World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) which stated, "We call on the Canadian Government to demand accountability from India and call for the immediate restoration of civil rights and internet services in Punjab."
In a statement, Ravi Singh, Khalsa Aid chief said, "The targeting of Sikh youth in Punjab is once again causing huge concern in the Sikh community acorss the world. Our memories of the 1980s are still very raw."
He urged Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to stop deployment of army or paramilitary services.