The Canadian high commission in Delhi confirmed on Thursday it had sent, and has now rescinded, an official dinner invitation to Jaspal Atwal, a former member of a Sikh organisation regarded by India as a terrorist group.
Atwal was invited to dine with Trudeau at a formal event hosted by Canadian High Commissioner to India Nadir Patel on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, news reports emerged that an alleged Khalistani terorrist Jaspal Atwal, accused of shooting at a Punjab minister in the 1980s, had been invited to two official events organized for Trudeau in Mumbai and Delhi.
And, it was my daughter, who had made it for my youngest son", the wife of Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said with a proud smile. "We have got some details which we do not want to share right now as they are somewhat sketchy. Here is a picture from my 2015 Canada visit, when I'd met PM Trudeau and Ella-Grace", PM Modi said in another tweet.
But Atwal told Postmedia that he does not plan to attend the dinner as he is in Mumbai on business. Some of these events saw open and visible participation by formations banned as terrorist in Canada, such as the Babbar Khalsa Inernational and the International Sikh Youth Federation; and were also platforms of radicalising hate speech and the open hagiography and iconization of terrorists guilty of mass murder.
Atwal is no longer on an Indian government's blacklist of suspected Sikh extremists, the newspaper said.
Jaspal Atwal, a convicted Khalistani terrorist who was active in the banned Int'l Sikh Youth Federation, photographed w/Canadian PM's wife Sophie Trudeau at an event in Mumbai on 20 February.
He also said that the fact the ministry issued a visa means that Atwal is not an Indian national. I think this is something which should be addressed by the Canadian side.
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Sidhu was driving on a rural road in the small community of Gold River, British Columbia, when his auto was ambushed by Sikh extremists.
One of Trudeau's own Members of Parliament (MP) from British Columbia, Randeep Sarai, issued the invitation to Atwal. Sidhu survived the attack but, five years later, was killed in Punjab's Moga. Despite being sentenced to 20 years behind bars, the four didn't serve the jail term due to an improperly obtained warrant, the Toronto Sun reported.
Atwal's name no longer figures in the current blacklist, he added.
The incident is the latest in a gaffe-plagued trip by Trudeau that has featured multiple photo-ops of the prime minister and his family posing in traditional Indian clothing, as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declined to meet with Trudeau.
In a separate tweet, Modi said that he hoped Trudeau had an enjoyable visit to India so far and that he particularly looked forward to meeting Trudeau's three children Xavier, Ella-Grace and Hadrien.
Some inveterate optimists believe that these words are the markers of a new beginning, and that the proximate future will see abruptly stringent action against Khalistani formations and sympathisers in Canada.
The two leaders are scheduled to hold a bilateral summit here on Friday.