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Canadian cop poses with Khalistani flag on official vehicle, Twitter takes him on

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Toronto Police confirmed the vehicle and the officer belong to Ontario’s Peel region. People on Twitter have called the move ‘illegal’.

New Delhi: A police official from Canada’s Ontario who was captured posing in front of an official vehicle with the ‘Khalistan’ flag mounted on top of it Sunday has received severe backlash on Twitter for supporting radicalism.

The Toronto Police’s official Twitter handle confirmed the vehicle and the officer posing in front of it belonged to the Peel region, but there has been no statement issued in response to the incident and the backlash.

The flag mounted on the vehicle had ‘Khalistan’ inscribed on it, representing the Sikh separatist movement in India.

Many people objected the mounting of an unauthorised flag on a police vehicle as well as bringing political movements of India to Canada.

“This is a Toronto area police car, flying a Khalistani separatist flag. This is disgraceful. We should support our allies. One India. No to terror. No to radicalism. No to bringing foreign tribal feuds to Canada,” wrote Canadian journalist Candice Malcolm on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/JeffNemwan/status/1008404693565915136

The Khalistan movement, which seeks to create a separate nation for the Sikh community, again found traction in India after Sukhpal Singh Khaira, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA and leader of opposition in Punjab assembly, extended his support to Sikh hardliners demanding a referendum on Khalistan by 2020.

“If people living in independent nations choose to do such a referendum, they are doing it within their rights,” Khaira said in the Punjab assembly last week. “And they are doing all this because the justice system in India is so flawed that it has led to such emotions.”

NRIs have become an active part of the movement in recent years. Last year, during assembly elections, many Sikh NRIs landed in Punjab to campaign for the AAP. The party was also accused of leading on hardliners, as many from the Sikh diaspora funded the AAP’s election campaign.

The presence of Jaspal Singh Atwal, a convicted pro-Khalistan terrorist from the banned International Sikh Youth Federation, at an event during Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s India visit in February caused a massive uproar in the country.

Trudeau later disapproved of Atwal’s invitation to the event and promised action against the person responsible for his invite.

Atwal is an Indian-origin businessman, who migrated to Canada to study. He was convicted in the shooting of Punjab minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu in 1986. He was tried in a court in Canada but did not serve prison as the verdict was overturned during an appeal on technical grounds.

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