Canada has accused the Indian government in the killing of a Khalistani terrorist last year and expelled a senior diplomat. The Indian government is yet to respond to the charges.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government had “credible allegations” linking Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s murder in June last year with “agents of the Government of India”.
“Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the Government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar,” Trudeau told an emergency session of the parliament today.
Trudeau said his government has declared its concerns to Indian security and intelligence officials. He also pointed out that he had discussed the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his India trip for G20 this month.
“Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty. It is contrary to the fundamental rules by which free, open, and democratic societies conduct themselves,” added the Canadian Prime Minister.
Trudeau said his government is working closely with its allies on this “very serious matter” and also sought India’s cooperation.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who headed the Khalistani Tiger Force and the Canadian arm of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), was shot dead by unknown attackers near a gurdwara in Surrey in June last year. He was a designated terrorist in India.
Last July, the Indian anti-terror agency had announced a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh on Nijjar in connection with the murder of a Hindu priest in Jalandhar, Punjab. It is also probing the recent attacks on Indian diplomatic missions in Canada, UK and US.
Canada has been among the favoured hubs of expat Sikhs where extremism has mushroomed over the last few years. The past few months saw multiple Khalistani activities in Canada, including protests outside the Indian Embassy and threat posters for Indian diplomats.
PM Modi conveyed concern over “continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada” during a bilateral meeting with Trudeau on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Delhi this month.
Asked about the Khalistani issue during the G20 summit, Trudeau had said, “Canada will always defend freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, and freedom of peaceful protest and it is extremely important to us. At the same time, we are always there to prevent violence and push back against hatred.”
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