Canada pursuing ‘credible allegations’ Indian government agents behind killing of Sikh leader, says Trudeau; Indian diplomat expelled

NEW DELHI: Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between Indian government agents and the murder of a Sikh leader in British Columbia in June, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday.
The startling accusation was followed by the Canadian foreign minister, Melanie Joly, stating that a high-ranking Indian diplomat has been expelled over the killing.
The Indian government has not yet responded to the accusations.
The allegations will likely further deteriorate India-Canada relations, which are already at an all-time low due to rising Khalistani activity in Canada.
Emergency statement by Trudeau
“Canada has declared its deep concerns to the top intelligence and security officials of the Indian government,” Trudeau said in an emergency statement to the House of Commons.
Trudeau said he had raised his concerns “personally and directly” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at the G20 summit last week in Delhi, about the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was shot dead outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18.

“Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” Trudeau said, adding: “It is contrary to the fundamental rules by which free, open and democratic societies conduct themselves.”
Nijjar was a prominent Sikh leader in the province of BC and a vocal backer of a separate Khalistani state. Supporters of his have said that he was a target of threats in the past because of his activism.

India has previously said he was a terrorist and led a militant separatist group.
Trudeau said Canada has expressed its concerns to high level security and intelligence agencies in India, and said he has been working on this issue with Canada’s allies. “I continue to ask with a great deal of firmness that the government of India cooperate with Canada to shed light on this situation,” he said.
Trudeau’s remarks come after he and PM Modi had a tense meeting last week during the G20 summit in India.
During the meeting, PM Modi had accused Canada of not doing enough to quell “anti-India activities of extremist elements”, referring to the rise of the Sikh separatist movement on Canadian soil.
(With inputs from agencies)


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