Photographs of Atwal greeting the PM's wife Sophie Trudeau and an accompanying minister plunged the visiting Canadian delegation in embarrassment. Photograph:( ANI )
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau after meeting Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday cancelled an invitation to a convicted Khalistani terrorist, Jaspal Atwal.
The invitation was cancelled after a photograph of Atwal posing with Trudeau's wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, during a February-20 event organised in Mumbai came to light.
"I can confirm that the High Commission is in the process of rescinding Mr Atwal's invitation," PMO spokeswoman Eleanore Catenaro said, as per the report.
Jaspal Atwal was convicted of the attempted murder of Punjab minister, Malkiat Singh Sidhu, on Vancouver Island in 1986, he was one of four men who ambushed & shot at Sidhu's car. (Pic: Invite to Jaspal Atwal for dinner with Canadian PM #JustinTrudeau, Source: CBC News) pic.twitter.com/dqZpWEwgls— ANI (@ANI) February 22, 2018
Canadian Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi, photographed with Jaspal Atwal at in Mumbai on 20 Feb. Atwal, a former member of banned terrorist group Int'l Sikh Youth Federation, was invited for dinner with #JustinTrudeau in Delhi, today (CBC News) pic.twitter.com/cO3h3YcUUA— ANI (@ANI) February 22, 2018
Atwal has also been photographed with the Canadian Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi in Mumbai on February 20.
Jaspal Atwal was convicted of the attempted murder of Punjab minister, Malkiat Singh Sidhu, on Vancouver Island in 1986. At the time of the 1986 shooting, he was a Sikh separatist active in the pro-Khalistan International Sikh Youth Federation. He and three others were convicted in 1987 of trying to kill Malkiat Singh Sidhu.
Trudeau, who is in India on a week-long State visit, has been under pressure throughout his tour to answer Indian concerns about Sikh separatism in Canada.