Home Latest News ‘Potential Link’ Between Indian Agents and Sikh Leader’s Killing: Trudeau

‘Potential Link’ Between Indian Agents and Sikh Leader’s Killing: Trudeau

Canada expels Indian envoy after prime minister voices apprehension in the House of Commons

by Staff Report

File photo. Ilmars Znotins—AFP

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday cited “credible” information from the country’s security agencies of a “potential link” between Indian “agents” and the killing of Sikh leader in June, as Ottawa expelled an unidentified “senior Indian diplomat” in protest.

“Over the past number of weeks, 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, Hardeep Singh Nijjar,” Trudeau said during an address in the House of Commons. “Canada is a rule-of-law country. The protection of our citizens and defense of our sovereignty are fundamental. Our top priorities have therefore been (i) that our law enforcement and security agencies ensure the continued safety of all Canadians, and (ii) that all steps be taken to hold the perpetrators of this murder to account,” he continued.

“Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” he said, adding his government had been working closely and coordinating with allies—including the U.S. and U.K.—on this “very serious matter.”

Noting he had raised his concerns about the killing of Nijjar “personally and directly” with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a G20 summit last week in India, he said Ottawa had similarly voiced its “deep concerns” to the top intelligence and security officials of the Indian government. “In the strongest possible terms, I continue to urge the government of India to cooperate with Canada to get to the bottom of this matter,” he said, adding he knew many Canadians, particularly members of the Indo-Canadian community, would be feeling angry and perhaps frightened.

However, he stressed, citizens should “remain calm” and steadfast in their commitment to democratic principles.

Following the Canadian prime minister’s statement, the country’s foreign minister announced that Ottawa had expelled a senior Indian diplomat to register its protest. “Allegations that a representative of a foreign government may have been involved in the murder of a Canadian citizen here in Canada, on Canadian soil … are totally unacceptable,” said Foreign Minister Melanie Joly. “Therefore, today we have expelled a senior Indian diplomat from Canada,” she said, describing them as “the chief of India’s intelligence agency” in the country but stopping short of outright identifying them.

Nijjar had advocated for the creation of an independent Sikh state. A “wanted terrorist” in India, he had denied all charges against him. He was shot dead on June 18 in a suburb of Vancouver.

Reacting to Trudeau’s disclosure, Sikhs For Justice General Counsel Gurpatwant Singh Pannun urged the Canadian prime minister to immediately expel India’s High Commissioner to Canada Sanjay Verma, noting expelling the head of India’s spy agency was an insufficient response.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment