Nothing illegal in Jaspal Atwal’s entry into India, says MEA

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New Delhi: As per media reports over the presence of Jaspal Atwal a in the Canadian delegation during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s state visit, India has climbed down with an embarrassing admission.

Jaspal Atwal with Trudeau’s wife Sophie

New Delhi today said that there was nothing illegal in Jaspal Atwal’s entry into India, his third visit since January 2017. “Jaspal Atwal has travelled to India on a valid visa. He has visited India on earlier occasions since January 2017,” said Raveesh Kumar, the MEA spokesperson.

Just ahead of Trudeau’s formal talks with PM Modi, photographs in the Canadian media showed Trudeau’s wife Sophie and Infrastructure Minister Amarjit Sohi with Jaspal Atwal at an official event hosted in Mumbai for the visiting dignitaries.

Atwal was convicted for an assassination attempt on Punjab minister Malkiat Sindhu who was visiting Vancouver in 1986.

According to The Tribune, Home Ministry sources had said that Atwal had been reformed and taken off the immigration blacklist three years ago.

“The Government of India has a conscious policy of outreach to the Indian Diaspora, including misguided elements who in the past may have harboured anti-India sentiments which they have since renounced. There are well-established procedures for grant of visa to foreign travellers which have been followed in this case as well,” added Raveesh Kumar today.

After the controversy erupted, Atwal’s invitation for a dinner at Canada House in Delhi in honour of the Trudeaus was rescinded.

 

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