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Who’s Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the Sikh chief Indian brokers allegedly killed? | Globalnews.ca Specific Instances

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Because the Home of Commons reconvened on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau knowledgeable Parliament that there have been “credible allegations” of a “potential hyperlink” between “brokers of the federal government of India” and the homicide of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh chief who Trudeau described as a Canadian citizen.

As a consequence, an Indian diplomat was expelled from Canada.

The person on the centre of the diplomatic storm was gunned down in June this yr, and the investigation stays open into his homicide. On June 18, Nijjar, 45, was discovered affected by a number of gunshot wounds inside a automobile outdoors the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara simply earlier than 8:30 p.m. on June 18.

The RCMP’s Built-in Murder Investigation Staff (IHIT) initially sought two suspects described as “heavier-set males carrying face coverings.” Nevertheless, they later stated the lads weren’t performing alone.

On Monday, Trudeau confirmed that authorities have been investigating hyperlinks between the homicide and other people linked to the Indian authorities.

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Here’s what we all know to this point.

Who’s Hardeep Singh Nijjar?

Nijjar, who moved to Canada in February 1997 to be a plumber, was a key determine within the motion for an impartial Khalistan — a separate homeland for Sikhs within the Indian subcontinent.

However for the Indian authorities, he was wished for allegedly being a “mastermind/lively member” of the Khalistan Tiger Drive (KTF), which the Indian  authorities designates as a terrorist group.

Click to play video: 'Singh blasts Modi government over allegations India agents killed B.C. Sikh leader'

Singh blasts Modi authorities over allegations India brokers killed B.C. Sikh chief

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Nijjar’s buddy and fellow Sikh nationalist, had informed International Information in June that Nijjar stated that gang members had warned him Indian intelligence brokers had put a bounty on his head.

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The Canadian Safety Intelligence Service additionally informed Nijjar they’d info that he was “below menace from skilled assassins,” Pannun had stated.

The Eighties and early Nineteen Nineties in India noticed an armed battle between the Indian authorities and Sikh separatists within the Sikh-majority northern state of Punjab. Amid a crackdown on the insurgency, Nijjar’s brother was arrested by police in India. In 1995, Nijjar himself was arrested.

He claimed in a sworn affidavit to immigration officers that he was overwhelmed and tortured for details about his brother. He stated he secured a bribe, reduce his hair brief and escaped.

In 1997, Nijjar got here to Canada, claiming he had been overwhelmed and tortured by Indian police. In 1998, his refugee declare was denied. In line with his immigration data, he used a fraudulent passport that recognized him as “Ravi Sharma.”

“I do know that my life can be in grave hazard if I had to return to my nation, India,” he wrote in his affidavit, dated June 9, 1998.

His software was rejected, and 11 days later Nijjar married a B.C. lady who sponsored him to immigrate as her partner.

On his software type, he was requested whether or not he was related to a bunch that used or advocated “armed wrestle or violence to succeed in political, non secular or social aims.”

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He stated “no,” however immigration officers thought of it a wedding of comfort and rejected Nijjar’s software. Nijjar appealed to the courts and misplaced in 2001, however he later recognized himself as a Canadian citizen.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada declined to remark to International Information on the time of that report, citing privateness laws.

Protesters chant outdoors of the Consulate Normal of India workplace throughout a protest for the latest capturing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Vancouver on Saturday, June 24, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns.

Nijjar ran a plumbing enterprise in Surrey, B.C., and rose to change into a outstanding advocate for the creation of Khalistan — a separate Sikh nation.

He travelled all over the world and known as for a referendum on Khalistan and known as for anti-Sikh violence in India to be acknowledged as “genocide.”

In 2014, a number of months after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist, took workplace, Indian authorities issued an arrest warrant for Nijjar. New Delhi described Nijjar because the “mastermind” of the militant group Khalistan Tiger Drive.

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He was accused of being concerned within the 2007 bombing of a cinema in Punjab. A 2016 Interpol discover in opposition to him alleged he was a “key conspirator” within the assault. He was accused of recruiting and fundraising, a cost that Nijjar vehemently denied.

After Nijjar was shot lifeless, his supporters protested outdoors the Indian consulate in Vancouver.

“This act of violence was predictable and was foreseen. It’s unacceptable for us,” Jatinder Singh Grewal, director of Sikhs for Justice, stated.

A number of folks related to Nijjar stated he had expressed fears that he was being focused and his life was below menace. Nijjar was stated to be “very vocal” about threats that have been being made to him “discreetly,” and different people related to the gurudwara have additionally confronted threats.

Final week, a referendum that Nijjar had been engaged on was held in Surrey’s Guru Nanak Sikh Gurudwara, the place Nijjar served as president. The non-binding and unofficial vote was organized by Sikhs for Justice, a bunch that advocates for a Khalistani nation.

The group estimated greater than 100,000 folks attended the vote in Surrey.

What are Canadian leaders saying?

On Monday, leaders of all three main events in Canada rose to handle the matter within the Home of Commons.

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“Canada is a rule of legislation,” Trudeau informed the Home of Commons. “Our nation, the safety of our residents and defence of our sovereignty are elementary.

Conservative Chief Pierre Poilievre informed the Home that if the allegations are confirmed true, they symbolize an “outrageous affront” to Canadian sovereignty. He known as on the Indian authorities to cooperate with “utmost transparency”.

However probably the most emotional attraction got here from NDP Chief Jagmeet Singh, who’s the primary Sikh-Canadian to guide a significant Canadian political social gathering.

Singh, who’s banned from travelling to India, spoke in Punjabi within the Home.

“All I wish to say in Punjabi is every thing we heard right this moment, all of us knew as youngsters that the Indian authorities commits many atrocities. However we by no means thought we’d must face this hazard after coming right here, to Canada. I wish to say to everybody, that I’m right here,” he stated.

“With no matter power I’ve, I cannot budge until justice is served on this case. I cannot budge until each hyperlink is investigated and justice is served.”

With information from International’s Stewart Bell, Elizabeth McSheffrey,  Christa Dao,  Darrian Matassa-Fung

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