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India on Thursday lodged a strong protest with Canada over Khalistani extremists holding a so-called “citizens court” and burning an effigy of the Indian prime minister outside the Indian consulate in Vancouver, authoritative sources said.

India issued a note verbale or diplomatic note to the Canadian high commission conveying its serious objection to the latest actions by the Khalistani elements, they said. In the note, India is also learnt to have communicated to the high commission its anguish over the space being given to the Khalistani separatists in Canada by the Justin Trudeau government.

New Delhi’s protest came a day after the Canadian parliament observed a “moment of silence” in the memory of Khalistan extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was gunned down in Surrey, British Columbia, in June last year. On June 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau held a brief conversation on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Italy’s Apulia region.

The interaction came against the backdrop of severe strain in India-Canada ties. The relations between the two countries came under severe strain following Trudeau’s allegations in September last year of a “potential” involvement of Indian agents in Nijjar’s killing. New Delhi rejected Trudeau’s charges as ”absurd”.

India has been maintaining that the main issue between the two countries is that of Canada giving space to pro-Khalistan elements operating from Canadian soil with impunity. Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra last week said India’s main issue with Canada continues to be the political space that Ottawa provides to anti-India elements which advocate extremism and violence.

India has repeatedly conveyed its “deep concerns” to Canada and New Delhi expects Ottawa to take strong action against those elements, he had said. Nijjar, who was declared a terrorist by India, was shot dead outside a gurdwara in British Columbia on June 18 last year. The murder is being probed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).