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Air India Kanishka bombing: Canadian police threaten journalist for raising questions over Khalistanis disrupting the memorial service for victims

"They are doing their thing and you are provoking them. We don't want any fight or argument here. We are here to maintain peace. You have a right to be here lawfully but you are not allowed to breach the peace," Canadian journalist Daniel Bordman said of Canadian Police after he questioned the presence of Khalistani elements at Queens Park in Toronto, Canada, where families of victims of the 1985 Kanishka bombing had gathered for a memorial service.

On the anniversary of the Air India Kanishka bombing, Canadian journalist Daniel Bordman has shared that he was threatened by the local police after he questioned the presence of Khalistani elements at Queens Park in Toronto, Canada, where families of victims of the 1985 Kanishka bombing had gathered for a memorial service. The Police threatened the journalist as he asked why Khalistanis were disrupting the service arranged by the victims of the families of Air India Flight 182.

As per Bordman, the Canadian Police said, “They are doing their thing and you are provoking them. We don’t want any fight or argument here. We are here to maintain peace. You have a right to be here lawfully but you are not allowed to breach the peace.”

On asking about the entry of Khalistani terrorists at the Queen’s Park, the police stated that the viewpoint or the opinion of the journalist towards the Khalistanis did not matter and all that they wanted is peace. The Police also added that they (Khalistanis) were at the park to offer prayers and show solidarity with the victim’s families. The video of the incident was shared by Brodman on his X handle where he stated that the Khalistanis were harassing and disturbing the families of the victims.

Further, on questioning about police allowing Khalistanis at the spot, one of the officers threatened the journalist saying, “We are not going to stop you from expressing your opinion but we are not going to allow you to disturb them. So either you separate yourself from the group or we will remove you from here.”

The video of the incident was shared by Daniel Bordman who reported that the Khalistani terrorists had gathered at the spot to harass and disturb the families of victims of the 1985 Kanishka bombing. The Khalistanis, however, claimed that they had arrived at the spot for expressing their solidarity over the incident. “These sickos are like if Nazis came to a Holocaust memorial in support,” Bordman then stated.

In the video shared by Bordman, the Khalistanis could be seen erecting their flags along with those of Canada. One of the Khalistani terrorists while arguing with Bordman held India responsible for the murder of terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The Khalistanis could also be seen observing silence over Nijjar’s death with Khalistani flags in their hands.

The image of the protest by Khalistanis could be seen in further posts shared by Bordman on X, earlier known as Twitter. Later he also shared that a large contingent of Canadian Jews also showed up to honour the victims of the Air India bombing on the 39th anniversary and raise their voices against Khalistani terrorism.

Khalistanis could also be seen wearing T-shirts praising Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, and holding India responsible for his death. However, a large number of Christians and also Jews gathered at the spot in support of the families of the victims who lost their lives in the Air India Flight 182 incident.

What happened in 1985; what Canadian Police says today

Earlier, the Canadian police claimed that the investigation into the bombing of Air India Flight 182 remains active and ongoing. On June 23, 1985, the Montreal-New Delhi Air India ‘Kanishka’ Flight 182 exploded 45 minutes before landing at London’s Heathrow Airport, killing all 329 passengers, the majority of whom were Canadians of Indian heritage. The bombing was carried out by Khalistani terrorists in retribution for the Indian Army’s ‘Operation Bluestar’ in 1984, which sought to clear out extremists from the Golden Temple.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) captured Talwinder Singh Parmar, the Babbar Khalsa leader, and Inderjit Singh Reyat, an electrician, months after the Air India explosion. Parmar, who had previously been pursued for extradition by India in the early 1980s, was released due to a “lack of evidence”. Investigators later concluded that Parmar planned the attack.

In a statement issued on 21st June, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Assistant Commissioner David Teboul described the bombing as the greatest terror-related loss of life involving and affecting Canadians in the country’s history, offering the deepest sympathies, understanding, and support to the families of the victims.

“The Air India investigation is the longest and certainly one of the most complex domestic terrorism investigations that the RCMP has undertaken in our history,” Teboul explained. “Our investigative efforts remain active and ongoing,” he informed reporters.

Bodies of 329 victims lay at the docks in Cork, Ireland, 1985 (Reuters)

Canada observes silence for Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar

On 18th June, Canadian Parliament observed a one-minute silence to mark the first death anniversary of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in the House of Commons. Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) chief Nijjar was killed on 18th June 2023. He was one of the 40 designated terrorists whose names appeared in a list released by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

Notably, four Indian nationals Karan Brar, Amandeep Singh, Kamalpreet Singh, and Karanpreet Singh have been arrested for killing Nijjar. They were allegedly linked to the Lawrence Bishnoi gang. The arrests were made in May 2024. The moment of silence was observed after the question period on 18th June. Calling the members to observe a moment of silence, Speaker Greg Fergus said, “I understand there is an agreement to observe a moment of silence in memory of Hardeep Singh Nijjar assassinated in Surrey, British Columbia, one year ago today. I now invite all of the members to rise.”

Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar was murdered in Canada. Khalistani elements accused India of killing Najjar. Almost three months after the murder, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made shocking accusations against India in Canada’s Parliament. In his statement, Trudeau claimed that there were “credible allegations” against India. Following the accusations, Canada immediately expelled the top Indian diplomat.

In retaliation, India rejected the claims calling them absurd, and expelled Canadian diplomats with immediate effect.

Canadian government neglects Khalistani terrorism; several incidents targeting India, Hindu temples

India-Canada relations have been at an all-time low for some time now, owing largely to India’s wrath at Ottawa turning a blind eye to Khalistani extremism on its soil. Over the years governments changed in Canada, from Conservative Party to the ruling Liberal Party, the governments there have failed to crush the Khalistani elements in the country despite repeated warnings from the Indian governments. With time and resources, sometimes active patronage from the political leaders, the Khalistanis have turned into a significant vote bank for the Liberal Party. 

The Khalistani terrorists in Canada have time and again insulted Hindu religion, and vandalized temples in Canada. They have also insulted India’s national flag but the government has always sided with the Khalistani terrorists saying that they have the right to assemble and express their views peacefully and without violating the law.

In September 2023, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the leader of the outlawed terrorist group Sikh Forum for Justice issued fresh threats to Indian diplomats in Ottawa. He held PM Modi, HM Amit Shah, NSA Ajit Doval, and EAM S Jaishankar responsible for the killing of his close aide Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the Khalistani terrorist who was shot dead by two unidentified persons in Surrey in Canada’s British Columbia.

On September 8, Khalistani terrorists vandalized the Shree Mata Bhameshwari Durga Devi Society in Surrey British Columbia. Pictures emerged on social media showing anti-India graffiti with the slogan “Punjab is not India” sprayed on the walls of the Hindu temple.

On August 12, two Khalistan supporters defaced a temple in Surrey with anti-Hindu and anti-India graffiti. The Khalistani terrorists had placed posters at the entrance of the temple in a bid to terrorize the Hindu community. The poster advocated for a referendum pertaining to “the assassination of Hardeep Nijjar” and investigating India’s role in the terrorist’s assassination.

On July 31st, Pro-Khalistan elements in Canada stepped up their poster campaign against India’s top diplomats in the province of British Columbia. Posters with the word ‘Wanted’ were displayed in various locations throughout Surrey. It referred to the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

On July 14, signage at the Shri Bhagavad Gita Park in the city of Brampton in the Greater Toronto Area or GTA was vandalised. According to reports, the park sign was spraypainted with graffiti targeting the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On 8th July, pro-Khalistani elements participated in protest rallies against India, claiming the Indian agencies were behind the assassination of Khalistani terrorists and ‘Sikhs For Justice’ leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. These rallies were held in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

During the rally, Khalistani elements desecrated the Indian flag. Videos went viral on social media wherein they were seen burning two Indian flags. In one of the videos, a pro-India man was brutally assaulted by Khalistanis when he tried to pick up the Indian flag from under their shoes.

On July 9 last year, a similar incident was reported in Surrey, where hundreds of Khalistanis gathered at the protest site. In a video shared by ANI Editor Smita Prakash, Khalistanis were seen holding the Khalistani flag while placing a torn Indian flag on the railing. They beat up the flag with a shoe with slogans of ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ in the background.

In January last year, a Hindu temple, Gauri Shankar Mandir, was desecrated by Khalistani extremists in Brampton city in Ontario province of Canada.

As per reports, the walls of the temple were defaced with anti-India graffiti by Khalistanis associated allegedly with the banned outfit, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ). The vicious slogan of ‘Khalistan Zindabad, Hindustan Murdabad’ was found spray-painted on the outer wall of Gauri Shankar Mandir.

Canada- a hotbed of anti-India, anti-Hindu activities; haven for Khalistani terrorists and criminals

Canada has become a hub of anti-India and anti-Hindu activities, as well as a shelter for Khalistani terrorists and criminals. India has often sent strong messages to the Justin Trudeau-led Canadian government, requesting them to prevent extremist activities in the nation; but, because of vote bank politics, the Trudeau government has refrained from taking any meaningful action against the terrorists and their anti-India acts. 

The Trudeau government has always offered the standard excuse that people in his country have the right to assemble and express themselves peacefully and without violating the law. Another major irony is that Trudeau’s administration had brutally suppressed Canadian truckers protesting harsh COVID regulations. Didn’t the truckers have the right to express themselves without violating the law? 

To appease his pro-Khalistan base, Trudeau has opted to alienate and offend a key global economy and trade partner, all in the name of supporting’ a wanted criminal and terrorist who has been twice denied citizenship by Canadian authorities.

High Commission of India in Ottawa slams Canada for glorifying terrorism

In the given case on June 24, the High Commission of India in Ottawa, Canada, honoured the victims of the 1985 Kanishka bombing and slammed the government for shielding terrorists. “On June 23, 1985, Flight no. AI 182 Kanishka, flying on Montreal (Canada) – London (UK) – Delhi (India) route operated by Air India, the then India’s national carrier exploded by a bomb mid-air over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Ireland as a result of the cowardly act of terror, carried out by Canada based Khalistani terrorists,” the press release by the High Commission said.

The press release stated that the perpetrators and co-conspirators of the “dastardly act” remained free, and that “any act of glorifying terrorism, including the bombing of AI-182, in 1985, is deplorable and should be condemned by all peace-loving countries and people”.

“It is unfortunate that such actions are allowed to be routine on many occasions in Canada,” according to the statement. On Sunday, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar also commemorated the Kanishka bombing in a social media post, emphasizing that it served as a harsh reminder of why terrorism should not be permitted.

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Siddhi Somani
Siddhi Somani
Siddhi Somani is known for her satirical and factual hand in Economic, Social and Political writing. Having completed her post graduation in Journalism, she is pursuing her Masters in Politics. The author meanwhile is also exploring her hand in analytics and statistics. (Twitter- @sidis28)

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