Sept. 18 (UPI) — The Canadian government has accused India of being involved in the June assassination of a prominent Sikh leader in British Columbia. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for the full collaboration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in the investigation of these allegations.
Trudeau publicly announced the allegations during the Group of 20 summit in New Delhi, where he stated that he informed Modi of the accusations. He urged the Indian government to cooperate with Canada and assist in getting to the bottom of the matter.
“In the strongest possible terms, I continue to urge the government of India to cooperate with Canada to uncover the truth,” Trudeau said.
The Sikh leader, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, was shot and killed on June 18 in Surrey, B.C. He was the president of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Sikh temple. Nijjar was known for his support of Khalistan, a movement seeking a separate homeland for Sikhs in India’s Punjab region. He protested against human rights violations committed by India against Sikhs.
The Indian government has labeled Nijjar as a terrorist, accusing him of leading a Khalistan militant separatist group.
Trudeau stated on Monday that Canadian security agencies have credible allegations linking Indian government agents to Nijjar’s assassination, although no specific details were provided. He emphasized that any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of sovereignty.
After Trudeau’s announcement, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly expelled the head of India’s foreign intelligence agency in Canada, the Research and Analysis Wing. Joly reiterated the expectation of India’s full collaboration in the investigation.
India’s foreign ministry has rejected Canada’s accusations, calling them “absurd and motivated.” They stated that Trudeau’s allegations to Modi at the G20 summit were completely rejected. The Indian ministry accused Canada of sheltering Khalistani terrorists and extremists and expressed concerns about Canada’s inaction in taking legal action against anti-India elements operating from its soil.
The World Sikh Organization highlighted the significance of Trudeau’s announcement for the Sikh community. They stated that it is now clear to all Canadians that the Government of India is a terrorist state that has been involved in extrajudicial killings not only on its own soil but also on Canadian soil.
Nijjar’s assassination is part of a series of killings of Sikh leaders in recent months, occurring in countries such as Pakistan and Britain.