My India First

My India First

India expels Canadian diplomat in spat over alleged assassination of a Sikh activist

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an advocate of Sikh independence from India, was gunned down on 18 June exterior a Sikh cultural centre within the Canadian province of British Columbia.

India dismissed allegations that its authorities was linked to the killing of a Sikh activist in Canada as “absurd” on Tuesday, expelling a senior Canadian diplomat and accusing Canada of interfering in India’s inside affairs.


It got here a day after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described what he known as credible allegations that India was linked to the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an advocate of Sikh independence from India who was gunned down on 18 June exterior a Sikh cultural centre in Surrey, British Columbia, and Canada expelled a high Indian diplomat.

“Any involvement of a overseas authorities within the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” Trudeau advised Parliament Monday. “Within the strongest attainable phrases, I proceed to induce the federal government of India to cooperate with Canada to unravel this matter.”

The duelling expulsions come as relations between Canada and India are tense. Commerce talks have been derailed and Canada simply cancelled a commerce mission to India that was deliberate for the autumn.

In its assertion asserting the expulsion, India’s Ministry of Exterior Affairs wrote that “the choice displays Authorities of India’s rising concern on the interference of Canadian diplomats in our inside issues and their involvement in anti-India actions.”

Nijjar was organising an unofficial referendum in India for an impartial Sikh nation on the time of his demise. Indian authorities introduced a money reward final 12 months for data resulting in Nijjar’s arrest, accusing him of involvement in an alleged assault on a Hindu priest in India.

India has repeatedly accused Canada of supporting the Sikh independence, or Khalistan, motion, which is banned in India however has help in nations like Canada and the UK with sizable Sikh diaspora populations.

In March, the Modi authorities summoned the Canadian Excessive Commissioner in New Delhi to complain about Sikh independence protests in Canada. In 2020, India’s overseas ministry additionally summoned the highest diplomat over feedback made by Trudeau about an agricultural protest motion related to the state of Punjab, the place many Sikhs reside.

Canada has a Sikh inhabitants of greater than 770,000, or about 2% of its complete inhabitants.

Trudeau advised Parliament that he introduced up Nijjar’s slaying with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the G20 assembly in New Delhi final week. He stated he advised Modi that any Indian authorities involvement can be unacceptable and that he requested for cooperation within the investigation.

India’s overseas ministry dismissed the allegation as “absurd and motivated.”

“Such unsubstantiated allegations search to shift the main focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who’ve been supplied shelter in Canada and proceed to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” it wrote in a press release issued earlier Tuesday.


On the G20 assembly, Modi expressed “robust considerations” over Canada’s dealing with of the Punjabi independence motion among the many abroad Sikhs throughout a gathering with Trudeau on the G20, the assertion added.

The assertion known as on Canada to work with India on what New Delhi stated is a risk to the Canadian Indian diaspora and described the Sikh motion as “selling secessionism and inciting violence” towards Indian diplomats. Earlier this 12 months, supporters of the Khalistan motion vandalised Indian consulates in London and San Francisco.

Canadian International Minister Mélanie Joly stated Canada had expelled a high Indian diplomat, whom she recognized as the pinnacle of Indian intelligence in Canada.

“If confirmed true this is able to be a terrific violation of our sovereignty and of essentially the most fundamental rule of how nations take care of one another,” Joly stated. “As a consequence, we have now expelled a high Indian diplomat.”

Public Security Minister Dominic LeBlanc stated Canada’s nationwide safety adviser and the pinnacle of Canada’s spy service have travelled to India to satisfy their counterparts and to confront the Indian intelligence companies with the allegations.


He known as it an energetic murder investigation led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Joly stated Trudeau additionally raised the matter with US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

“We’re deeply involved concerning the allegations referenced by Prime Minister Trudeau,” White Home Nationwide Safety Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson. “We stay in common contact with our Canadian companions. It’s essential that Canada’s investigation proceed and the perpetrators be delivered to justice.”

Joly additionally stated she would elevate the problem together with her friends within the G7 on Monday night in New York Metropolis forward of the United Nations Normal Meeting.

Canadian opposition New Democrat chief Jagmeet Singh, who’s himself Sikh, known as it outrageous and surprising. Singh stated he grew up listening to tales that difficult India’s document on human rights would possibly stop you from getting a visa to journey there.


“However to listen to the prime minister of Canada corroborate a possible hyperlink between a homicide of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil by a overseas authorities is one thing I may by no means have imagined,” Singh stated.

The World Sikh Group of Canada known as Nijjar an outspoken supporter of Khalistan who “usually led peaceable protests towards the violation of human rights actively going down in India and in help of Khalistan.”

“Nijjar had publicly spoken of the risk to his life for months and stated that he was focused by Indian intelligence companies,” the assertion stated.

Nijjar’s New York-based lawyer, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, has stated Nijjar was warned by Canadian intelligence officers about being focused for assassination by “mercenaries” earlier than he was gunned down.

India’s important opposition social gathering issued a press release backing Modi’s place. The Congress Occasion wrote that “the nation’s pursuits and considerations should be stored paramount always” and that the struggle towards terrorism needs to be uncompromising, particularly when it threatens the nation’s sovereignty.

Indian authorities have focused Sikh separatism for the reason that Eighties, when an armed insurgency for an impartial Sikh state took off in Punjab state.

In 1984, Indian forces stormed the Golden Temple within the state’s Amritsar metropolis to flush out Sikh separatists, who had taken refuge there. The controversial operation killed round 400, based on official figures, though Sikh teams estimate the toll to be greater.

The prime minister who ordered the raid, Indira Gandhi, was killed afterwards by two of her bodyguards, who had been Sikh. Her demise triggered a collection of anti-Sikh riots, through which Hindu mobs went from home to deal with throughout northern India, pulling Sikhs from their properties, hacking many to demise and burning others alive.

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