Sikh Parade Slammed for Violent Slant

April 18, 2007

Source: The Province

An Indian diplomat says he's outraged that a parade celebrating Sikhism also appeared to honour militants, including an alleged Air India bomber, who died fighting for a separate Sikh state in Punjab.

India's consul in Vancouver, Ashok Kumar, said it's unacceptable the annual Vaisakhi parade in Surrey featured portraits of so-called martyrs.

Kumar told CBC's The National the Indian government finds any endorsement of terrorism unacceptable.

The Vaisakhi festival and parade on April 7 attracted thousands of people, including prominent B.C. and federal politicians.

Organizers of the event wore jackets with the word Khalistan -- the name of the independent Sikh state separatists want in Punjab.