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Trudeau admits Sikh extremist was invited to dine with him Delhi

NEW DELHI: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau admitted Thursday that a convicted Sikh extremist had been invited to dine with him in New Delhi, just the latest controversy to dog his visit to India.

Trudeau said the invitation to Jaspal Atwal — who was found guilty of trying to assassinate an Indian minister in 1986 — had been revoked and those at fault had taken responsibility.

“Obviously, we take this situation extremely seriously,” he told reporters in New Delhi.

“The individual in question never should have received an invitation and as soon as we found out we rescinded the invitation immediately.”

Trudeau has been at pains during his visit to quash long-simmering perceptions in India that his administration is soft on Sikh extremists.

This latest scandal emerges on the eve of his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been notably absent during Trudeau’s week-long trip throughout India with his family.

Atwal was convicted for a botched assassination attempt on an Indian cabinet minister in Canada in 1986 and was sentenced to 20 years by a Canadian court.

He reportedly attended an event in Mumbai on Tuesday, where he was photographed alongside Trudeau’s wife Sophie Gregoire, according to Canada’s public broadcaster CBC.

The Canadian High Commission would not comment on whether Atwal was part of Trudeau’s official delegation, although reports in Canada said Trudeau’s office had denied this.

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