Justin Trudeau states ‘credible allegations’ link India to killing of Sikh leader in Canada

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Canada’s prime minister has actually stated there are “credible allegations” that India’s federal government was associated with the deadly shooting in June of a popular Sikh leader in British Columbia.

Justin Trudeau’s allegations set off a hostile reaction from New Delhi and a round of diplomatic expulsions, deepening a rift in between the 2 G20 nations.

Citing intelligence from nationwide security services, Trudeau on Monday informed members of parliament that Canadian authorities were examining whether “agents” of New Delhi lagged the June killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, a suburban area of Vancouver with a big Sikh neighborhood.

“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,” Trudeau stated. “Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty.”

Trudeau informed parliament he raised the accusations with India’s prime minister Narendra Modi throughout a conference in New Delhi recently throughout the G20 top.

A leading Indian diplomat was expelled from Canada on Monday, stated Mélanie Joly, the nation’s foreign minister. “We will protect Canadians at all times,” Joly informed press reporters. “We expect India’s full collaboration to get to the bottom of this.”

India’s federal government on Tuesday dismissed Trudeau’s declaration and Joly’s remarks, as “absurd and motivated”.

“Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister, and were completely rejected,” India’s external affairs ministry stated in a declaration. “We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to rule of law.”

The Indian federal government likewise stated it had actually asked a senior Canadian diplomat to leave the nation. “The decision reflects [the] government of India’s growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities,” New Delhi stated.

Mourners carry the casket of Sikh community leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar during a funeral procession
Mourners carry the casket of Sikh community leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar during a funeral procession in Surrey, Canada, in June © Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press/AP

Ties between India and Canada have long been strained, as have personal relations between their two prime ministers. New Delhi in 2020 accused Ottawa of interference after Trudeau spoke up in favour of protesting farmers who forced Modi to abandon a planned overhaul of agriculture law. The two countries paused talks on a planned free trade agreement last week.

Canada is home to nearly 800,000 Sikhs, many of whom live in Surrey and Brampton, a suburb of Toronto. Some Sikh Canadians support the Khalistan independence movement, which seeks to create a sovereign state in India’s northern Punjab state.

India’s federal government condemns the motion and has actually long implicated Canada of harbouring Sikh separatists, whom it explained on Tuesday as “Khalistani terrorists and extremists” who “continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

“That Canadian political figures have openly expressed sympathy for such elements remains a matter of deep concern,” New Delhi stated.

India’s federal government had actually implicated Nijjar, a Sikh nationalist, of terrorism and published bounties for his arrest. In 2016, Nijjar composed a letter to Trudeau that called New Delhi’s accusations unwarranted and stated his advocacy was “peaceful, democratic and protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms”.

The World Sikh Organization of Canada called Nijjar’s eliminating on the premises of the gurdwara — a Sikh holy place, where he was president — an “assassination” and prompted Ottawa to examine India’s function. British Columbia authorities stated last month that it had actually recognized 3 suspects, though they were not recognized. No arrests have actually been made.

Jagmeet Singh, the leader of Canada’s New Democratic celebration and a Sikh, stated on X, previously Twitter, that he would leave “no stone unturned in the pursuit of justice, including holding Narendra Modi accountable”.

Pro-Khalistan demonstrations in Canada and in other places this year have actually exasperated Modi’s Hindu nationalist federal government, with fans of the motion assaulting New Delhi’s diplomatic objectives in San Francisco and London.

In July, India summoned Canada’s high commissioner in New Delhi after protesters arranged a “Khalistan freedom rally” in Toronto and made dangers versus Indian diplomats whom they implicated of participation in Nijjar’s death.


News and digital media editor, writer, and communications specialist. Passionate about social justice, equity, and wellness. Covering the news, viewing it differently.

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