New Delhi: India on Thursday said that incidents of posters being displayed by Khalistani elements, inciting violence against Indian diplomats, are "unacceptable" and should be condemned in the strongest terms.
"Incidents of posters inciting violence against our diplomats are unacceptable and we condemn them in strongest terms," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday. In response to queries on incidents of posters being displayed by Khalistani elements displaying photographs of Indian diplomats posted in Canada, the UK, the US and Australia, Bagchi told mediapersons here that the matter has been strongly taken up with the Canadian authorities. Bagchi said the Canadian government has been contacted to ensure the safety of Indian diplomats posted there. "It is a matter of concern that freedom of expression is being misused to incite violence, propagate separatism and legitimise terrorism," the MEA spokesperson said. Bagchi referred to External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar's comments that Canada giving space to anti-India and Khalistani elements seems to be a move driven by vote bank politics.
Regarding similar posters appearing in the UK, Australia and the US, Bagchi said that assurances have been given by UK authorities on providing safety to Indian diplomats, however, it will have to be seen what they do on the ground. Asked about a video surfacing of Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) chief Gurpatwant Singh Pannu threatening Indian diplomats while standing outside UN headquarters in New York, which was released on July 5, just a day after rumours of his death, the MEA spokesperson said, "We are aware of the video. We have been consistently taking up cases of threats with the Canadian authorities and the so-called referendum (for Khalistan by anti-India elements)."