New Delhi, Nov 30 (IANS): The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said that Canada has consistently given space to anti-India extremists and violence and that is at the heart of the issue.
MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi while responding to a question on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent comments said, "As far as Canada is concerned, they have consistently given space to anti-India extremists and violence. That is at the heart of the issue."
Bagchi said India’s diplomatic representatives have "borne the brunt of this. So we expect the government of Canada to live up to their obligations under the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.”
"We have also seen interference in our internal affairs. This is obviously unacceptable," the MEA official added.
His remarks came hours after the US charged an Indian national with conspiracy to assassinate a New York-based Sikh separatist and the Canadian Prime Minister said that New Delhi needs to take the charge "seriously" and cooperate in the investigations.
Trudeau, who had been claiming since September that Indian agents were involved in the killing of its citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar, told CBC News that they have been working closely with their American counterparts on the "serious" allegations.
"The news coming out of the US further underscores what we've been talking about from the very beginning, which is... India needs to take this seriously," Trudeau told reporters on Wednesday.
"The Indian government needs to work with us to ensure that we're getting to the bottom of this. This is not something that anyone can take lightly," he added.
The Prime Minister further said that his responsibility was to keep "Canadians safe, and that's what we're going to continue to do".
The US prosecutors on Wednesday announced murder-for-hire charges against Indian national Nikhil Gupta for involvement in a foiled plot to assassinate a US citizen allegedly on behalf of an Indian government employee.
Neither the "government employee", nor Khalistani leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, were named in the document. Pannun was only identified as a "US citizen."
The indictment alleged that the Indian government employee recruited Gupta in or around May 2023 to assassinate Pannun -- a designated terrorist in India. Gupta, in turn, got in touch with a man he believed to be a "criminal associate" but was actually a confidential source of the US Drug Enforcement Agency.
India has constituted a high-level enquiry committee to look into the security concerns raised by the US Government.