'Dalai Lama is a respected religious leader', India gave a measured reply to China's statement

Ananya Shroff
5 Min Read


New Delhi: India has strongly objected to the Canadian Parliament observing a day of silence on the death anniversary of separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. In a press conference on Thursday, spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said that India opposes any activity that provides political space to those who incite violence and radicalism. In fact, diplomatic tensions were also seen between India and Canada last year over the murder of Nijjar. The spokesperson said that separatist activities are a matter of concern for India. He said that Canada has been repeatedly asked to take action on these activities. India has said that Canada should stop giving political space to terrorist and violent activities to stop them. Along with this, India has also objected to the civil court organized by extremists in Canada recently. Jaiswal said that strong objection has been lodged with the Canadian High Commissioner regarding this.

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'The Dalai Lama is a respected religious leader'

India has also reacted to China calling the Dalai Lama a separatist in the wake of the US parliamentary delegation's visit to Dharamshala. In a press conference on Thursday, spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said that as far as the Dalai Lama is concerned, he is a respected religious leader and the people of India respect him very much. He has been given freedom here so that he can carry out his religious and spiritual activities without any hindrance. Along with this, he said that the US delegation also met PM Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. During this, many dimensions of strategic partnership between the two sides were discussed.

'98 Indians lost their lives during Haj pilgrimage'

The Ministry of External Affairs clarified that 98 Indians lost their lives in Haj pilgrimage this year. Jaiswal said that this year 1,75,000 Indians had performed Haj pilgrimage, out of which 98 Indians lost their lives. All these deaths have occurred due to natural diseases, natural causes, serious diseases and old age. He said that six Indians died on the day of Arafat. Whereas, last year 187 Indians lost their lives during Haj. Jaiswal said that the Indian Mission in Jeddah is providing other kinds of help besides medical assistance. He said that this time it was very hot and people were particularly affected by the heat wave.

'Nikhil Gupta's family is in touch with the ministry'

Responding to a question about Nikhil Gupta, accused in the alleged conspiracy to kill separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, Jaiswal said he was extradited to the US from the Czech Republic on June 14. They have not yet received a request for consular access in the case. But Gupta's family is in touch with the ministry and we are looking into the matter to see what can be done.

'French journalist's work permit application pending'

The Ministry of External Affairs also responded to the allegations of the French journalist leaving India. Jaiswal said that Sebastian Farsis is an OCI card holder and in this situation a work permit is required. For which he had applied again in May 2024 and his application is pending. Jaiswal said that if in such a situation he goes abroad, it is his own decision. Actually, French journalist Sebastian had posted on X that after working as a reporter in India for 13 years, the authorities have refused to allow me to work as a journalist. In this way I was forced to leave the country. 'Sebastian, South Asia correspondent for Radio France, Liberation and Swiss and Belgian public radio, also said that he had reapplied for his work permit in August last year and his work permit case is still pending.

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