India summons Canadian diplomat after Sikh protest

India summons Canadian diplomat after Sikh protest

UPGRADE DAY

Indian authorities said on Sunday they had summoned Canada's top diplomat stationed in New Delhi after a gathering of Sikh protesters outside an Indian diplomatic mission in Canada. 

Hundreds of people had gathered outside the Indian consulate in Vancouver, western Canada, on Saturday to protest the ongoing manhunt in India for more than a week to arrest the separatist preacher Sikh Amritpal Singh, according to Canadian media.

The Indian Foreign Ministry said it had summoned the Canadian high commissioner on Saturday to “express our deep concern at the actions carried out by separatist elements and extremists against our diplomatic mission and our consulates in Canada this week”.

“(We expect) the Canadian government to take measures to ensure the safety of our diplomats and our diplomatic representations,” Indian diplomacy spokesman Arindam Bagchi said in a statement.

The manhunt to arrest Amritpal Singh has led to an internet shutdown and a ban on gatherings of more than four people in several places in the northern state of Punjab. Some 100 people have been arrested.

Amritpal Singh has become famous in recent months for preaching radical Sikhism in rural areas of Punjab, going so far as to demand the establishment of a Sikh breakaway state called Khalistan.< /p>

New Delhi had summoned a senior British diplomatic representative last week after Sikh protesters stormed and vandalized the Indian High Commission in London.

India had also expressed its “strong protest” to the US State Department and the US Embassy in New Delhi, after the ransacking of the Indian Consulate in San Francisco.