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

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Canada’s prime minister has mentioned there are “credible allegations” that India’s authorities was concerned in the deadly capturing in June of a outstanding Sikh leader in British Columbia.

Justin Trudeau’s accusations triggered a hostile response from New Delhi and a spherical of diplomatic expulsions, deepening a rift between the 2 G20 nations.

Citing intelligence from nationwide safety providers, Trudeau on Monday informed members of parliament that Canadian authorities have been investigating whether or not “agents” of New Delhi have been behind the June killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver with a big Sikh group.

“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 mentioned. “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 allegations with India’s prime minister Narendra Modi throughout a gathering in New Delhi final week throughout the G20 summit.

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

India’s authorities on Tuesday dismissed Trudeau’s assertion 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 exterior affairs ministry mentioned in an announcement. “We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to rule of law.”

The Indian authorities additionally mentioned it had requested a senior Canadian diplomat to go away 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 mentioned.

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

Ties between India and Canada have lengthy been strained, as have private relations between their two prime ministers. New Delhi in 2020 accused Ottawa of interference after Trudeau spoke up in favour of protesting farmers who compelled Modi to abandon a deliberate overhaul of agriculture regulation. The two nations paused talks on a deliberate free commerce settlement final week.

Canada is dwelling to practically 800,000 Sikhs, many of whom reside in Surrey and Brampton, a suburb of Toronto. Some Sikh Canadians assist the Khalistan independence motion, which seeks to create a sovereign state in India’s northern Punjab state.

India’s authorities condemns the motion and has lengthy accused Canada of harbouring Sikh separatists, whom it described 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 mentioned.

India’s authorities had accused Nijjar, a Sikh nationalist, of terrorism and posted bounties for his arrest. In 2016, Nijjar wrote a letter to Trudeau that known as New Delhi’s allegations baseless and mentioned his activism was “peaceful, democratic and protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms”.

The World Sikh Organization of Canada known as Nijjar’s killing on the grounds of the gurdwara — a Sikh home of worship, the place he was president — an “assassination” and urged Ottawa to examine India’s position. British Columbia police mentioned final month that it had recognized three suspects, although they weren’t recognized. No arrests have been made.

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

Pro-Khalistan protests in Canada and elsewhere this 12 months have infuriated Modi’s Hindu nationalist authorities, with supporters of the motion attacking New Delhi’s diplomatic missions in San Francisco and London.

In July, India summoned Canada’s excessive commissioner in New Delhi after protesters organised a “Khalistan freedom rally” in Toronto and made threats in opposition to Indian diplomats whom they accused of involvement in Nijjar’s demise.




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