The Canadian Press
NEW DELHI–A man who was convicted of trying to assassinate an Indian cabinet minister in 1986 should not have been invited to receptions held in Delhi, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today.
His statement came after a senior official in Trudeau’s office said an invitation issued to Jaspal Atwal for a reception was a mistake and was rescinded as soon as it was discovered.
But the error wasn’t caught until after Atwal had already attended a reception with Trudeau on Tuesday evening and posed for photos with both Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi.
Trudeau told reporters in New Delhi prior to a speech at the Canada-India Business Summit where several hundred Canadian and Indian business people were gathered that it was wrong to issue the invitation.
“The individual in question never should have received an invitation and as soon as we found out we rescinded the invitation immediately,” said Trudeau. “Obviously we take this situation extremely seriously.”
A spokeswoman with the Prime Minister’s Office said earlier that Atwal is not part of the PM’s official delegation to India and that the PMO is “in the process of looking into how this occurred.”
But as it turns out, Atwal was added to the guest list by British Columbia MP Randeep Sarai, one of the 14 MPs in India with Trudeau.
“The member of parliament who included this individual has and will assume full responsibility for his actions,” Trudeau said.
Sarai also issued his own statement taking full responsibility.