India could be behind killing of Canadian Sikh: Trudeau
In Ottawa, Canada, there’s been a growing concern that Indian authorities may have played a part in the tragic killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an exiled Sikh leader and Canadian citizen, back in June near Vancouver. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed this issue on Monday during an emergency parliamentary session, revealing that his government is actively investigating credible allegations of a potential link between India and Nijjar’s murder.
Trudeau emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating that any involvement of a foreign government in the murder of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is a clear violation of the country’s sovereignty. He called upon the Indian government in no uncertain terms to cooperate fully in resolving this matter.
Nijjar, who had been declared a wanted terrorist by the Indian government, was tragically shot on June 18 in Surrey, a Vancouver suburb known for its sizable Sikh community. Nijjar was a vocal advocate for the creation of an independent Sikh state in northern India, a stance that put him at odds with Indian authorities who accused him of orchestrating terrorist attacks in India—a charge he vehemently denied.
The tensions between Canada and India have escalated in the wake of this unsolved murder, further fueled by Indian dissatisfaction with how Ottawa has dealt with right-wing Sikh separatists. New Delhi has accused Canada of turning a blind eye to the activities of Sikh nationalists who are pushing for a separate Sikh homeland in northern India.
During the G20 summit in New Delhi, where Trudeau was in attendance, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his strong concerns about what he referred to as the “continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada.” This statement from Modi further strained the diplomatic relations between the two nations.
In response to these escalating tensions and suspicions, Canada made the decision to expel an Indian diplomat who was believed to have credible ties to the murder of a Sikh leader in western Canada the previous June. Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly condemned any allegations of a foreign government’s involvement in a Canadian citizen’s murder on Canadian soil as entirely unacceptable, thus leading to the expulsion of the senior Indian diplomat from Canada. The diplomat’s identity was not disclosed in the statement.