Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told parliamentarians on Monday that Canada is looking into “credible allegations” linking Indian government agents to the deadly shooting of senior Sikh politician Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June.
One of the greatest Sikh diaspora communities may be found in Canada, where Sikh agitation has angered the Indian government. The Khalistan movement, one such activist group, aims to create an independent Sikh country in India named Khalistan. Nijjar actively supported the cause.
Table of Contents
Who was Hardeep Singh Nijjar?
According to the Canadian news source Global News, Hardeep Singh Nijjar was born in the northern Indian province of Punjab and has been in Canada for more than 25 years. He was the president of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, and managed a plumbing company. He was 45.
India raises the alarm when it notices symptoms of resurgent Sikh separatism.
In the northwestern state of Punjab, the push to create a separate Sikh state included Nijjar. He was classified as a “terrorist” by the Indian government, and New Delhi was said to have issued an arrest order for him, according to Indian media.
Nijjar was allegedly a “key conspirator” in the 2007 bombing of a Punjabi movie theater, according to an Interpol notification from 2016. According to Global News, Nijjar was also accused of recruiting and fundraising, which he vigorously rejected.
The Canadian media said that he left a wife and two adult boys behind.
How was Nijjar killed?
The Sikh temple that Nijjar presided over had a shooting reported to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on June 18 in the evening. According to the authorities, Nijjar was shot numerous times inside his pickup truck and passed away immediately.
Two suspects who were reported as being large men with masks fled the scene. Last month, the police announced the presence of a third suspect, who assisted the two shooters in escaping in a silver 2008 Toyota Camry. The Toronto Sun reported on Monday that all three suspects are still at large.
Despite without disclosing a reason, police described the act as “targeted”. Some Sikhs have expressed fear that the murder may have been carried out for political reasons. According to his friends and local media, Nijjar had received a warning from Canadian intelligence agencies that he was in danger.
Nijjar’s attorney, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, told The Washington Post that he thought Nijjar was being pursued because he planned to organize a non-binding vote in Canada on whether to establish an independent Sikh state in Punjab to be known as Khalistan. Trudeau was urged by Pannun to oust the Indian high commissioner from Canada.
What did Trudeau say about his case?
According to Trudeau, who spoke to legislators on Monday, Canadian authorities are working with its allies to investigate Nijjar’s death and are looking into “credible allegations” of connections to Indian government officials.
“Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” the speaker declared. It is against the fundamental principles that govern behavior in free, open, and democratic society.
After acknowledging that some members of the Indo-Canadian community “are feeling angry or perhaps frightened,” Trudeau pleaded with the Indian government to work with them “to get to the bottom of this matter.”
At the Group of 20 summit earlier this month in New Delhi, he claimed to have expressed his “deep concerns” to senior security and intelligence officials in India as well as “personally and directly” and “in no uncertain terms” to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.