A video from Canada depicting a recreated scene of the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards has gone viral on social media and has sparked significant outrage back home in India.
The video has been shared on the internet, in which a statue of Indira Gandhi can be seen drenched in blood in front of the two Sikh bodyguards pointing their guns at her. Behind this is a banner which reads, ‘Revenge Of Attack On Shri Darbar Sahib.’
According to several media reports, the parade was organised by pro-Khalistan outfits.
The tableau was paraded in the city of Brampton in Ontario on Saturday, 4 June, a few days before the 39th anniversary of ‘Operation Bluestar’.
Indira Gandhi was assassinated on 31 October 1984 by her bodyguards a few months after ‘Operation Bluestar’ was conducted. Through this operation, the Indian Army was commanded to remove pro-Khalistan militants occupying the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Following this, massive protests by the Sikh community were launched.
Balraj Deol claimed that the float was part of a 5 km-long parade in Brampton.
India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar criticised the Canadian government for being lenient with separatists and extremists in Canada during a media briefing earlier on Thursday.
"I think there is a bigger issue involved... Frankly, we are at a loss to understand other than the requirements of vote bank politics why anybody would do this. I think there is a larger underlying issue about the space which is given to separatists, to extremists, to people who advocate violence. I think it is not good for relationships, not good for Canada."S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister
Earlier today, the High Commissioner for Canada in India said that he was appalled by the event and shared his response on social media.
More visuals of the parade can be seen here.
Reaction on Social Media
The controversial video has earned significant backlash on social media, including by Congress Party leader Milind Deora.
In March this year, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had summoned the High Commissioner of Canada after a security breach took place at the Indian embassy in Ottawa.
The MEA said that the summons were issued “to convey our strong concern about the actions of separatist and extremist elements against our diplomatic Mission and Consulates in Canada this week”.