A day after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would not support Khalistani separatists , reports have emerged that Jaspal Atwal, a Khalistan separatist convicted in the shooting of Punjab Minister Malkiat Sodhi in 1986 was present at an event of the PM in Mumbai and had been invited to another in Delhi.
Later in the day, Mr. Trudeau said Atwal "shouldn't have received an invitation." Speaking to journalists, Mr. Trudeau said: "We take this very seriously. Individual in question never should have received an invitation. As soon as we found out we rescinded the invitation immediately. The person and dept will take full responsibility."
Canada’s CBC News reported that Atwal was invited to dine with Prime Minister Trudeau at a formal event hosted by the Canadian High Commissioner on Thursday in Delhi.
The Canadian High Commission has rescinded Atwal's invitation. "We do not comment of matters relating to the PM's security," it said.
CBC News also published photos which show Atwal posing with Mr. Trudeau’s wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, and cabinet minister Amarjeet Sohi at an event with the Indian film industry in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the External Affairs Ministry has sought details from Indian Mission in Canada how Atwal was granted a visa. "This should be addressed to the Canadians, they’ve said it was an oversight . On the visa part, I can’t say how that happened. There are different ways people enter india.there are OCI cards, e visas etc. We have asked the indian mission for details,” a Ministry spokesperson said.
An MHA official told The Hindu that Atwal was not on any blacklist maintained by immigration authorities.