Rajkot (Gujarat) [India]: Amid the fierce diplomatic sabre-rattling between India and Canada, triggered by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s claim that Indian agents were behind the killing of a Sikh separatist leader in his homeland, MS Bitta, the chairman of All-India Anti-Terrorist Front, on Tuesday asserted that there will never a separate Khalistan.
Speaking to media on Tuesday, the Sikh leader said in present-day India, which is more assertive and aspirational, such attempts by a handful of people to tarnish the community at the behest of neighbouring Pakistan, will not be tolerated.
‘We will not tolerate if someone tries to peddle an agenda to break or splinter India. The Canadian government is patronising the Khalistanis for votes. Khalistan could not be formed despite the movement and we will never allow it to become a reality,’ Bitta told media.
‘I want to tell such people that India is no longer the country it used to be. We will not tolerate any attempts to show our community in a bad light. We won’t allow any agenda peddled at Pakistan’s behest to succeed,’ he added.
Exhorting all members of the Sikh community and gurdwaras both in the country and beyond to come together and rise against the separatist Khalistani propaganda, Bitta said, “I would urge members of all gurdwaras across India and beyond to call a meeting whenever a demand for Khalistan is raised and defeat such nefarious ploys to divide our country. They should come out in public and declare once and for all that we do not aspire for a separate Khalistan.’
Meanwhile, the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) on Tuesday expressed concern over the developments in the aftermath of the Canadian PM’s claim linking India to the killing of the separatist leader.
“Today, the Sikhs are settled across the globe. Their human rights as well as religious concerns are of paramount importance for us. The Sikh community has been through many painful times, including the June 1984 military attack on Sachkhand Sri Harmandir Sahib and Akal Takht Sahib, the 1984 Sikh genocide and the extra-judicial killings of Sikh youths.
Members of our community across the globe can never forget the pain inflicted by these horrific episodes,” the SGPC said in a statement.