Canada expelled a high Indian diplomat Monday because it investigates what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau referred to as credible allegations that India’s authorities might have had hyperlinks to the assassination in Canada of a Sikh activist.
Trudeau mentioned in Parliament that Canadian intelligence companies have been trying into the allegations after Sikh chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a powerful supporter of an impartial Sikh homeland referred to as Khalistan, was gunned down on June 18 exterior a Sikh cultural centre in Surrey, British Columbia.
Trudeau informed Parliament that he introduced up the slaying with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the G20 final week. He mentioned he informed Modi that any Indian authorities involvement can be unacceptable and that he requested for cooperation within the investigation.
Canadian Overseas Minister Mlanie Joly mentioned the pinnacle of Indian intelligence in Canada has been expelled as a consequence.
The Indian Embassy in Ottawa didn’t instantly reply cellphone calls from The Related Press looking for remark.
The expulsion comes 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.
On the G20 assembly, Modi expressed “sturdy considerations” over Canada’s dealing with of the Punjabi independence motion among the many abroad throughout a gathering with Trudeau on the G20, based on an announcement launched by India’s Ministry of Exterior Affairs.
The assertion described the Sikh motion as “selling secessionism and inciting violence” in opposition to Indian diplomats. It referred to as on Canada to work with India on what New Delhi mentioned is a menace to the Canadian Indian diaspora.
Canada has a Sikh inhabitants of greater than 770,000, or about 2 per cent of its whole inhabitants.
“Over the previous variety of weeks Canadian safety companies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a possible hyperlink between brokers of the federal government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar,” Trudeau mentioned.
Trudeau mentioned Canada has declared its deep considerations to the Indian authorities. “Any involvement of a overseas authorities within the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty.
Trudeau mentioned his authorities has been working intently and coordinating with Canada’s allies on the case.
“Within the strongest doable phrases I proceed to induce the federal government of India to cooperate with Canada to unravel this matter,” he mentioned.
Trudeau mentioned he is aware of there are some members of the Indo-Canadian neighborhood who really feel indignant or frightened, and he referred to as for calm.
Public Security Minister Dominic LeBlanc mentioned 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 referred to as it an energetic murder investigation led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Joly mentioned Trudeau additionally raised the matter with US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Opposition Conservative chief Pierre Poilievre mentioned if the allegations are true they characterize “an outrageous affront to our sovereignty.”
Opposition New Democrat chief Jagmeet Singh, who’s himself Sikh, referred to as it outrageous and surprising. Singh mentioned he grew up listening to tales that difficult India’s report on human rights would possibly forestall 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 mentioned.
The Khalistan motion is banned in India, the place officers see it and affiliated teams as a nationwide safety menace. However the motion nonetheless has some help in northern India, in addition to past, in nations like Canada and the UK that are house to a large Sikh diaspora.
Nijjar was organizing an unofficial referendum in India for an impartial Sikh state on the time of this loss of life. Indian authorities introduced a money reward final yr for data resulting in Nijjar’s arrest, accusing him of involvement in an alleged assault on a Hindu priest in India.
British Columbia Premier David Eby mentioned he is acquired a briefing from Canada’s spy company in regards to the “assassination” of Nijjar and he is “deeply disturbed” by what he was informed.
The World Sikh Group of Canada referred to as Nijjar an outspoken supporter of Khalistan who “typically led peaceable protests in opposition to the violation of human rights actively happening in India and in help of Khalistan.”
“Nijjar had publicly spoken of the menace to his life for months and mentioned that he was focused by Indian intelligence companies, the assertion mentioned.
Niijar’s New York-based lawyer, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, has mentioned Niijar was warned by Canadian intelligence officers about being focused for assassination by “mercenaries” earlier than he was gunned down.
Janice Stein, a political scientist and worldwide relations skilled on the College of Toronto, mentioned to kill a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is astounding.
It is tragic for Canada as a result of we have now problems with overseas interference with the 2 largest economies in Asia, China and India. And we have now two very massive diaspora from each nations. This isn’t what we wish, Stein mentioned.
“We’ve essentially the most numerous neighborhood on the earth in Canada. We’ve folks from all people’s nation. We settle for this and we give license Russia to hunt Canadian Ukrainians. You possibly can’t.