Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday that it was ascertaining details from its mission on convicted Khalistani terrorist Jaspal Atwal getting a visa.
"There are two aspects to it - presence and visa. The Canadian side has already clarified that the invitation has been withdrawn. About the visa, I don't know how it happened. We will ascertain information from our mission," said Raveesh Kumar, MEA spokesperson.
"Let us not presume things and decide how he managed to come. This is something which we are trying to find out. In due course, we will be able to come up with a reason that how he managed to come in India," he added.
— Indian Diplomacy (@IndianDiplomacy) February 22, 2018
The Canadian High Commissioner Nadir Patel on Thursday cancelled dinner invitation to Atwal. Patel was hosting the dinner for the visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his delegation.
"The High Commission has rescinded Mr Atwal’s invitation. We do not comment on matters relating to the PM's security," the Canadian High Commission said, PTI reported.
"His Excellency Nadir Patel, High Commissioner for Canada to India, is pleased to invite Jaspal Atwal to a dinner-reception celebrating Canada-India ties on the occasion of the visit of Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada," the invitation read.
Jaspal Atwal was convicted of the attempted murder of Punjab minister, Malkiat Singh Sidhu, on Vancouver Island in 1986, he was one of four men who ambushed & shot at Sidhu's car. (Pic: Invite to Jaspal Atwal for dinner with Canadian PM #JustinTrudeau, Source: CBC News) pic.twitter.com/dqZpWEwgls
— ANI (@ANI) February 22, 2018
Atwal was convicted for trying to kill the then Punjab minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu in Vancouver in 1986.
The cancellation comes at a time when Trudeau's 'pro-Khalistan approach' is being criticised by many including Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who raised the issue with the Canadian PM during a meeting.
On his part, Trudeau assured Singh that his country does not support separatism in India or elsewhere.
Really happy to receive categorical assurance from Canadian PM @JustinTrudeau that his country does not support any separatist movement. His words are a big relief to all of us here in India and we look forward to his government’s support in tackling fringe separatist elements.
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) February 21, 2018
Meanwhile, reacting to the controversy surrounding the invitation to Atwal for Trudeau`s dinner reception, Canadian Minister for Science and Sports Kirsty Duncan said on Thursday that Atwal should not have been invited, as per ANI.
He added that they are now looking into the matter.
"This person should of course never have been invited. The invitation has now been rescinded. We are looking into how this happened. We know when there is an international travel. Sometime people will come forward, whether they have been invited or not," Duncan said.
(With Agency inputs)