MEA summons Canadian envoy over Trudeau’s remarks on farmers’ protests, says a repeat would 'seriously damage' ties
The MEA also said that the Canadian prime minister's remarks encouraged ‘gatherings of extremist activities’ in front of the Indian High Commission and consulates in Canada
New Delhi: India on Friday summoned the Canadian High Commissioner and conveyed to him that the comments made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and some other leaders there on the farmers' agitation constituted an "unacceptable interference" in the country's internal affairs.
The Canadian diplomat was also told that such actions, if continued, would have a "seriously damaging" impact on the bilateral ties, the external affairs ministry said.
Trudeau, backing the agitating farmers in India, had said that Canada will always be there to defend the rights of peaceful protests, and expressed concern over the situation.
"The Canadian High Commissioner was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs today and informed that comments by the Canadian Prime Minister, some Cabinet Ministers and members of Parliament on issues relating to Indian farmers constitute an unacceptable interference in our internal affairs," the MEA said, adding a demarche was made to the envoy.
The MEA said these comments by the Canadian leaders have encouraged "gatherings of extremist activities" in front of the Indian High Commission and Consulates in Canada, raising issues of safety and security.
"We expect the Canadian government to ensure the fullest security of Indian diplomatic personnel and its political leaders to refrain from pronouncements that legitimise extremist activism," the MEA said.
Canada's Indian-origin Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan too had expressed concerns over reports of the "peaceful protesters being brutalised in India".
"The reports of peaceful protesters being brutalised in India are very troubling. Many of my constituents have family there and are worried about the safety of their loved ones. Healthy democracies allow peaceful protest. I urge those involved to uphold this fundamental right," he tweeted on Sunday.
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and several other states have been protesting for last nine days at the borders of Delhi against three farm laws.
The farmers and the government are holding talks on the matter.
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Farmers’ unions refused to call off the tractor march planned for 26 January and asserted that they had the constitutional right to demonstrate peacefully on Republic Day
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In an affidavit, it also sought dismissal of a plea file by the Centre seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor march "which seeks to disrupt the gathering and celebrations of Republic Day on 26 January"
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Meanwhile, the Congress party shored up its attack against the Centre over the issue, with Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi leading protests in New Delhi