Govt ascertaining details convicted Jaspal Atwal got visa: MEA

A copy of official invitation to Atwal from the High Commissioner for Canada is also available on the internet.

However, government has denied giving Trudeau the cold shoulder.

"Obviously we take this situation extremely seriously", Trudeau said.

"As soon as we received the information, we rescinded it. The member of Parliament who included this individual has and will assume full responsibility for his actions".

India had its own slice of embarrassment on the issue of giving a visa to the controversial Sikh leader, a resident of Canada. Indian author Bhaavna Arora said.

The High Commission has since rescinded the invitation and the external affairs ministry has said that it is being ascertained how India issued a visa to Atwal.

"His words are a big relief to all of us here in India and we look forward to his government's support in tackling fringe separatist elements", he said in a Tweet. "We are cross-checking with our mission in Canada".

He was on a list of banned Sikh extremists for years until recently, one official said.

In text messages, Atwal told the Sun that he travelled to Mumbai on business for Media Waves, a Surrey online radio station.

Atwal's name no longer figures in the current blacklist, he added. "They have accepted it was an oversight and have withdrawn the invitation. If you shoot a foreign politician, or anyone, any citizen, in this country and you don't spend serious time in prison, it's an open invitation to terrorists that Canada is ok", he says. So, as far as the security point of view, we can not say that he has flouted any law by entering the country, " said an MHA official.

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According to reports, Mr Atwal was convicted in Canada for shooting at the then Punjab Minister Malkiat Singh in 1986 when the minister was on a private visit to Vancouver.

Kumar later told reporters that the Canadian side had described the invite as an "oversight" and cancelled it. But on Tuesday night in Mumbai, he was posing with Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, as well as Canadian cabinet ministers and MPs.

During his visit to the temple, Trudeau was honored with a 24-carat gold-plated portrait of the shrine, a gold-plated Siri Sahib, a small six-inch sword along with a siropa, robe of honor and a shawl by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.

It stated that Atwal has also been photographed in India with Indian-origin Brampton South Liberal MP Sonia Sidhu. Atwal was a auto salesman at the time and helped convert of one of the stolen vehicles, a judge found.

Sidhu was shot at twice on a road and survived, but was later assassinated in India.

A trial court convicted him and sentenced Atwal and others to 20 years' imprisonment.

More recently, in 2010, Atwal was found to have been part of an automobile fraud ring that cheated the Insurance Corporation of falsely reporting vehicles as stolen, changing their identification numbers and re-selling them.

Last April, Punjab's top elected official, Amarinder Singh, refused to meet Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, alleging he was a "Khalistani sympathiser".

Modi also said that he looks forward to meeting his children Xavier, Ella-Grace, and Hadrien.

  • Tabitha Byrd