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'Indian High Commission has taken up refusal of entry to AAP MLAs with Canada'


Press Trust of India Chandigarh
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has told Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana K P Singh that the Indian High Commission in Ottawa has taken up "denying" of entry to two AAP MLAs into Canada last month with the government of that country.
The Union minister responded in a letter to the Speaker after he raised the issue with her last month.
Two AAP legislators Kultar Singh Sandhwan and Amarjit Singh Sandoa were not given entry into Canada when they landed at the Ottawa airport on July 21.
In the letter to the Speaker, the Union minister said the Indian High Commission in Ottawa has taken up the matter with the Canadian government, seeking the circumstances and reasons for this "deplorable" action by the Canadian immigration authorities.
"We take all matters pertaining to members of our legislative bodies very seriously. In fact, the moment I was apprised of the treatment meted out to the two AAP MLAs by the Canadian authorities, my office immediately contacted the High Commissioner in Ottawa to ascertain the facts," Swaraj said.
I fully agree with you that elected members of our Assemblies deserve to be treated with courtesy and respect whenever they travel abroad, she said in her letter to Rana K P Singh.
"The Canadian Foreign Office has sent the mission an interim response stating that consultations with the Canadian Border Services Agency are ongoing to determine a comprehensive response. Our Mission will continue to pursue this issue with the Canadian side to ensure that such incidents do not recur in the future," Swaraj wrote in the letter.
The union minister also said that Indian diplomats in Canada were unaware of the visit of these two MLAs. Neither was the Indian External Affairs Ministry informed of the visit nor the requisite political clearance sought, she added.
The Speaker advised all the MLAs to follow the prescribed procedure for their visits abroad including obtaining political clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs and providing prior information to Indian Missions abroad, even for their private visits.
When two AAP MLAs were denied entry, the Speaker at that time had said that the "rude and discourteous" behaviour shown to the Punjab legislators by the Canadian authorities was unbecoming on their part, which was a "matter of grave concern.

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First Published: Aug 30 2018 | 9:45 PM IST

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