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Canadian Federal Police Probe Online Warning Against Air India Flights

Pannun, in discussions with Canadian media, emphasized that this was a call to boycott Indian businesses and not a threat. Canada is home to a substantial Sikh population of around 770,000, constituting approximately two percent of the overall population.

Khalistani leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun
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Canada's federal police are currently investigating a video warning circulating online that advises against flying Air India starting November 19, as confirmed by Transportation Minister Pablo Rodriguez on Thursday. Rodriguez emphasized the government's commitment to taking all threats seriously, particularly those involving airlines, according to media reports. 

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is actively involved in the investigation, responding to the developments stemming from a video posted by the secessionist group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) over the weekend. In the video, SFJ's general counsel, Gurpatwant Pannun, issues a warning in Punjabi, cautioning Sikhs not to fly Air India after November 19, citing potential risks to their lives. Pannun reiterated this message in a statement, calling for a 'Global blockade' of the airline from Vancouver to London. However, in a subsequent statement on Thursday, he clarified that his intent was to call for a boycott of the airline, not to issue a direct threat.

Pannun, in discussions with Canadian media, emphasized that this was a call to boycott Indian businesses and not a threat. Canada is home to a substantial Sikh population of around 770,000, constituting approximately two percent of the overall population. The situation adds a layer of complexity to Canada-India relations, already strained by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's September allegations of Indian involvement in the June murder of a Canadian Sikh leader near Vancouver. Trudeau had expelled an Indian diplomat believed to be connected to the slaying, a move that India dismissed as "absurd."

Deteriorating relations between India and Canada have been further fueled by the unsolved murder and Indian dissatisfaction with Ottawa's handling of Sikh separatist issues. The ongoing investigation into the Air India warning adds another dimension to the already intricate diplomatic landscape between the two countries.

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