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Washington, Oct 1: The ongoing India–Canada dispute has been marked by incidents of violence and intimidation against Indian diplomats and missions. Foreign Minister S Jaishankar has said that the situation in Canada should not be considered normal. He stressed that India does not need to take lessons from others regarding freedom of expression and that freedom of expression should not extend to incitement to violence.
In July, a group of Khalistan supporters was accused of attempting to set fire to the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, although no significant damage or injuries were caused. The incident was being investigated by the police.
On September 18, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a surprising allegation that the Indian government may have a hand in the murder of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India immediately rejected these claims as “absurd” and “motivated”.
Jaishankar, who is on a visit to the United States, addressed these issues during a press conference in Washington DC. He stressed that India values freedom of expression, but does not promote violence and sees it as an abuse of freedom rather than a defense of it.