Trudeau, addressing the House of Commons, did not provide specific details about the allegations. However, he expressed his concerns to top Indian security and intelligence officials and directly conveyed them to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Group of 20 summit. Trudeau emphasized that any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is a violation of sovereignty and contrary to democratic principles.
Canadian authorities are working closely with their international partners in coordinating the investigation. Trudeau urged the Indian government to cooperate in order to uncover the truth behind the murder.
The Indian High Commission in Canada, which functions as an embassy, did not provide an immediate comment on the matter.
Melanie Joly, Canada’s foreign minister, announced the expulsion of an Indian diplomat believed to be the head of Indian intelligence in Canada. Trudeau has discussed the issue with President Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and it will be a topic of conversation at the upcoming U.N. General Assembly.
Dominic Leblanc, Canada’s public safety minister, revealed that Canadian security officials have traveled to India multiple times in recent weeks to meet with their Indian counterparts regarding Nijjar’s murder. However, Leblanc did not directly address questions about potential hindrance from Indian authorities.
Canada is home to a large Sikh diaspora community, and Nijjar’s killing had a profound impact. The incident, considered a targeted attack, prompted protests in Canada and abroad. Some Sikhs believe the Indian government, which labeled Nijjar as a “terrorist,” played a role in his murder.
Tejinder Singh Sidhu, president of the World Sikh Organization of Canada, stated that Trudeau’s public acknowledgement of India’s targeting of Sikhs in Canada carries immense significance for the Sikh community.
Trudeau recognized the anger and fear within the Indo-Canadian community but emphasized the importance of remaining calm and steadfast in upholding democratic principles and the rule of law.
This announcement by the prime minister comes amid strained relations between Canada and India. Canadian officials recently canceled a planned trade mission to Mumbai, and a bilateral meeting between Trudeau and Modi did not take place during the Group of 20 summit. Modi expressed concerns about anti-India activities in Canada, accusing extremist elements of promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats.
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