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India rejects Ontario House motion on 1984 riots

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

India on Friday took strong exception to the passage of a Private Member’s Motion in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario that called the 1984 anti-Sikh riots ‘’genocide’’, adding that it had conveyed its views on the issue to the political leadership of Canada.

‘’We reject this misguided motion which is based on a limited understanding of India, its Constitution, society, ethos, rule of law and the judicial process,’’ MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said when his reaction was sought on the passage of the motion.   

New Delhi, it is learnt, is quite unhappy since the motion was moved by a Member of the Provincial Parliament (MPP) belonging to the ruling Liberal Party of Ontario, which had moved a similar motion last summer. The Ontario Assembly, thus, became the first legislature in Canada to carry a motion that described the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as “genocide”.

The motion was moved by Harinder Malhi, the MPP from the riding (as constituencies are called in Canada) of Brampton-Springdale, near Toronto.

After a debate, the motion was carried with 34 MPPs (the equivalent of MLAs) voting in favour and just five against. Those present at the vote numbered just about a third of the assembly’s total strength of 107.