Indian govt rules out involvement in Jaspal Atwal's presence at Trudeau's event

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Delhi, India Feb 28, 2018, 09.53 AM (IST)

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has ruled out any involvement of the government or the security agencies with Jaspal Atwal's presence at the event hosted by the Canadian High Commissioner in Mumbai. 

"The government of India, including security agencies, had nothing to do with the presence of Jaspal Atwal at the event hosted by Canadian High Commissioner in Mumbai or invitation issued to him for Canadian High Commissioner's reception in Delhi," noted the official statement. 

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The MEA also noted "any suggestion to the contrary" as "baseless and unacceptable".

"We have seen the recent exchange in the Parliament of Canada regarding two invitations issued to Jaspal Atwal by the Canadian High Commissioner, for functions hosted in honour of the Canadian Prime Minister in India," MEA statement noted.

Pro-Khalistan terrorist Jaspal Atwal was invited to dine with Prime Minister Trudeau at a formal event hosted by Canadian High Commissioner to India Nadir Patel. The invite was later rescinded.

Prime Minister Trudeau also received backlash over his wife Sophie Trudeau's photo with convicted pro-Khalistani terrorist Jaspal Atwal.

Canadian Member of Parliament (MP) Randeep S. Sarai took the responsibility for inviting Atwal to Trudeau's reception dinner in New Delhi. He apologised for the same. 

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The MEA's reaction came shortly after the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau supported the official who suggested the "rogue Indian elements" theory.

"When one of our top diplomats and security officials says something to Canadians, it's because they know it to be true," Trudeau noted in the Canadian Parliament yesterday. 

According to reports, a Canadian official allegedly accused people within the Indian government to have orchestrated Atwal's invitation.

Jaspal Atwal was convicted of the attempted murder of Punjab minister, Malkiat Singh Sidhu, on Vancouver Island in 1986. 

(With inputs from ANI)