Reacting to a weekend protest in front of the Indian consulate in Vancouver, the Indian government has summoned Canada’s High Commission to express concerns over the presence of Sikh extremism in Canada.

India described the protest as “an infringement of diplomatic space” and raised the alarm over Khalistani extremist symbols. 

“It is expected that the Canadian government will take all steps which are required to ensure the safety of our diplomats and security of our diplomatic premises so that they are able to fulfil their normal diplomatic functions,” India’s Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

“The high commissioner of Canada was summoned yesterday to convey our strong concern about the actions of separatist and extremist elements against our diplomatic Mission and Consulates in Canada this week.”

This comes after an event featuring India’s High Commissioner to Canada was cancelled in British Columbia after threats of protest by Khalistani separatists. 

The recent wave of protests was sparked after Indian authorities launched a manhunt for Sikh preacher and extremist Amritpal Singh.

Police accuse Singh of attempted murder and obstruction of law enforcement. 

Tensions between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Indian government continue over his government’s inaction on the presence of Khalistani separatists in Canada.

In 2020, Trudeau was criticized over comments about Sikh protests in India. 

“Such actions, if continued, would have a seriously damaging impact on ties between India and Canada,” a statement by the Indian government said at the time. 

“These comments have encouraged gatherings of extremist activities in front of our High Commission and consulates in Canada that raise issues of safety and security. We expect the Canadian government to ensure the fullest security of Indian diplomatic personnel and its political leaders to refrain from pronouncements that legitimize extremist activism.”