- Canada has taken emergency action by expelling a senior Indian diplomat amid an ongoing investigation into credible allegations made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
- These allegations suggest possible links between the Indian government and the killing of Sikh advocate Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil.
- At the recent G20 summit, Trudeau raised this issue with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, conveying Canada’s deep concerns and categorically stating that any possible Indian government involvement in the incident would be unacceptable.
Canada expelled a top Indian diplomat on Monday as it investigates credible allegations that the Indian government may have had links to the killing of a Sikh activist in Canada.
Trudeau told parliament that Canadian intelligence agencies are looking into the allegations after Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a strong supporter of an independent Sikh homeland known as Khalistan, was shot on June 18 outside a Sikh cultural center in Surrey, of British Columbia.
Trudeau told parliament that he raised the assassination with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G-20 last week, that he told Modi that any Indian government involvement would be unacceptable and that he asked for cooperation in the investigation.
Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said the head of India’s intelligence agency in Canada has been deported as a result. “If it turns out to be true, this would be a major violation of our sovereignty and the most basic rule of how countries deal with each other,” Joly said. “As a consequence, we have expelled a top Indian diplomat.”
The Indian embassy in Ottawa did not immediately return calls from The Associated Press seeking comment.
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“In recent weeks Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a possible link between agents of the Government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijar,” Trudeau said.
Trudeau said Canada has expressed its deep concerns to the Indian government.
“Last week at the G-20 I brought them up personally and directly to Prime Minister Modi in no uncertain terms,” Trudeau said. “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 his government is working closely and coordinating with Canada’s allies on the case.
“In the strongest terms, I continue to urge the Government of India to work with Canada to get to the bottom of this matter,” he said.
Trudeau said he knows there are some members of the Indo-Canadian community who feel angry or scared and called for calm.
Public Security Minister Dominic LeBlanc said Canada’s national security adviser and the head of Canada’s spy agency traveled to India to meet with their counterparts and confront Indian intelligence agencies with the allegations.
It was called an active homicide investigation led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Jolie said Trudeau also raised the issue with US President Joe Biden.
The leader of the opposition Conservatives, Pierre Pouliev, said that if the allegations were true, they represented “an outrageous affront to our sovereignty”.
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The Khalistan movement is banned in India, where officials see it and affiliated groups as a national security threat. But the movement still has some support in northern India, as well as beyond, in countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom that host a sizable Sikh diaspora.