MEA to probe how Khalistani terrorist got Indian visa

ANI | Updated: Feb 22, 2018 16:54 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 22 (ANI): The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday said that it will look into how the convicted Khalistani terrorist, Jaspal Atwal, managed to attain a visa to enter India and attend an event in Mumbai, where Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was also present.

"There are two aspects to it- presence at the event and Visa. The Canadian side has already clarified that it was an oversight and the invitation has been withdrawn. On the Visa part, I can't say immediately how that happened. We have ascertained information from our Commission," Raveesh Kumar, MEA Spokesperson told press here, adding that any information received would be duly shared.

A photograph of Atwal with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife at an event in Mumbai ruffled feathers, given that he is active in the banned International Sikh Youth Federation

Jaspal was also invited to a formal dinner with the Canadian Prime Minister, hosted by the Canadian High Commissioner on Thursday here.

With speculation doing rounds about the terrorist getting access to such a high-level event, Kumar further said, "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 to India."

The Canadian Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has also clarified that Atwal "is not part of the official delegation to the PM's visit to India, nor was he invited by the Prime Minister's Office."

Jaspal Atwal was one of four men convicted for ambushing and shooting Punjab Minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu on Vancouver Island in 1986.

At the time, he was a Sikh separatist active in the pro-Khalistan International Sikh Youth Federation. He and three others were convicted in 1987 of trying to kill Malkiat Singh Sidhu.

Trudeau, who is in India on a week-long State visit, has been under pressure throughout his tour to answer Indian concerns about Sikh separatism in Canada. (ANI)