Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar was gunned down outside a Sikh cultural center in British Columbia in June.Canada is investigating allegations that India was involved in the assassination of a Sikh activist, a Canadian citizen, on Canadian soil.
The victim, Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, was gunned down outside a Sikh cultural center in Surrey, British Columbia on June 18.
Nijjar was a strong supporter of an independent Sikh homeland known as Khalistan. The movement is banned in India as officials see it as a national security threat. But the movement still has some support in countries like Canada and the United Kingdom, where sizable Sikh communities live.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canadian intelligence agencies are investigating allegations that the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have played a role in Nijjar's assassination.
Trudeau told Parliament Monday he'd discussed the matter with Modi at the G-20 last week. He said he told Modi that any involvement would be unacceptable and that he asked for cooperation in the investigation.
"Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty," Trudeau said.
Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said the head of Indian intelligence in Canada had been expelled as a consequence.
Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc said Canada's national security adviser and the head of Canada's spy service have traveled to India to meet their counterparts and to confront the Indian intelligence agencies with the allegations.
Opposition Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre said if the allegations are true, they represent "an outrageous affront to our sovereignty."
"Canadians deserve to be protected on Canadian soil. We call on the Indian government to act with utmost transparency as authorities investigate this murder, because the truth must come out," Poilievre said.
Opposition New Democrat leader Jagmeet Singh, who is himself Sikh, called it outrageous and shocking.
"To all Canadians, this is my vow," Singh said. "I will leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of justice, including holding Narendra Modi accountable."
The Indian Embassy in Ottawa did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment on the matter.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Justin Trudeau accuses India of "credible" link to activist's assassination in Canada
Canada expelled a top Indian diplomat Monday as it investigates what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called credible allegations that India's government may have had links to the assassination in Canada of a Sikh activist.
Trudeau said in Parliament that Canadian intelligence agencies have been looking into the allegations after Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a strong supporter of an independent Sikh homeland known as Khalistan, was gunned down on June 18 outside a Sikh cultural center in Surrey, British Columbia.
"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," Trudeau said in Parliament Monday.
Trudeau said that he brought up the links between Nijjar's murder and the Indian government with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G-20 last week "in no uncertain terms," adding that "any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty."
..... If proven true this would be a great violation of our sovereignty and of the most basic rule of how countries deal with each other," Joly said. "As a consequence we have expelled a top Indian diplomat."
The Indian Embassy in Ottawa did not immediately answer phone calls from The Associated Press seeking comment.
The World Sikh Organization of Canada on Monday said that Canadian intelligence and law enforcement agencies were aware of threats to Nijjar and other Sikh activists in Canada, having been alerted of the dangers by a number of sources.
"Nijjar had publicly spoken of the threat to his life for months and said that he was targeted by Indian intelligence agencies," the organization said.
Trudeau said his government has been working closely and coordinating with Canada's allies on the case.
"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.
"I know many Canadians, particularly members of the Indo-Canadian community, are feeling angry, or perhaps frightened, right now," Trudeau added.
He called it an active homicide investigation led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Joly said Trudeau also raised the matter with President Joe Biden.
..... But the movement still has some support in northern India, as well as beyond, in countries like Canada and the United Kingdom that are home to a sizable Sikh diaspora.
Canada expels top Indian diplomat amid probe into alleged links to Sikh activist's assassination
Canadian PM Trudeau stressed the killing of a Canadian citizen constitutes an unacceptable violation of Canada's sovereignty.Canada expelled a top Indian diplomat Monday as it investigates what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called credible allegations that India's government may have had links to the assassination in Canada of a Sikh activist.
Trudeau said Canada has declared its deep concerns to the Indian government.
"Last week at the G-20 I brought them personally and directly to Prime Minister Modi in no uncertain terms," Trudeau said. .....
Trudeau said he knows there are some members of the Indo-Canadian community who feel angry or frightened, and he called for calm.
..... S. President Joe Biden.
Canada Probes Allegations of India's Role in Sikh Activist's Assassination
OTTAWA - Canada has accused Indian government agents of being involved in the murder of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia in June. In response, Canada has expelled a senior Indian intelligence official, marking a significant deterioration in bilateral ties between the two countries. The Canadian government is already facing criticism from India for not cracking down on Sikh protesters advocating for an independent Sikh homeland.
..... Nijjar, a supporter of an independent Khalistani state, was shot dead outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia. In July 2020, he was designated as a “terrorist” by India. Canadian security agencies have been actively investigating credible allegations of a potential link between Indian government agents and Nijjar's death.
Trudeau, in an emergency statement to the House of Commons, said that Canada has expressed its deep concerns to the top intelligence and security officials of the Indian government. He personally raised the issue with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G20 summit, urging cooperation in the investigation.
India's high commission (embassy) in Ottawa has not responded to requests for comment. However, last week, Modi conveyed strong concerns about protests in Canada against India to Trudeau. Canada has a significant Sikh population, with approximately 1.4 million people of Indian origin residing in the country. This has led to frequent demonstrations in Canada that have irked India.
The two countries, who were previously in talks for a trade deal, have now frozen negotiations following the worsening of bilateral ties. Bilateral trade between Canada and India in 2022 amounted to just C$13.7 billion out of a total of C$1.52 trillion.
Although Trudeau did not directly accuse India of definite involvement in Nijjar's murder, Foreign Minister Melanie Joly used cautious language, saying that if the allegations were proven true, they would be unacceptable. Joly confirmed that Canada has expelled the head of Indian intelligence in the country but provided no further details.
Trudeau urged India to cooperate with Canada to uncover the truth in the matter. Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc stated that several senior Canadian government officials had visited India recently to express Ottawa's concerns.
In April, India had asked Britain to increase monitoring of UK-based supporters of the Sikh separatist movement after protesters carrying “Khalistan” banners detached the Indian flag from the diplomatic mission's building in London.
The investigation into Nijjar's assassination and the allegations of Indian government involvement are ongoing, with Canada demanding transparency and justice. Opposition leaders in Canada, Pierre Poilievre of the Conservative Party and Jagmeet Singh of the New Democratic Party, have also called for a thorough investigation and accountability if the allegations are proven true.
Justin Trudeau Accuses India in a Killing on Canadian Soil
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday that "agents of the Indian government" carried out the killing of a Sikh community leader in British Columbia last June.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr. Trudeau said that he raised India's involvement in the shooting of Hardeep Singh Nijjar directly with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Group of 20 summit meeting earlier this month "in no uncertain terms." He said the allegation was based on intelligence gathered by the Canadian government.
..... Trudeau told lawmakers. He said Canada would pressure India to cooperate with the investigation into the killing.
Mr. Trudeau said that the large community of Canadians of Indian origin had been angered by the killing and in some cases feared for their personal safety. There are an estimated 1.4 to 1.8 million Canadians of Indian heritage, many of whom are Sikhs. Their numbers include Jagmeet Singh, the leader of the opposition New Democratic Party, which is keeping Mr. Trudeau's minority government in power.
The allegation that India's government was involved in a calculated killing in Canada is likely to further corrode the already strained relations between the two countries. Earlier this month, Canada suspended negotiations on a trade deal with India that were scheduled to have been concluded this year. and during the G20, Mr. Modi excluded Mr. Trudeau from the list of leaders with whom he held formal bilateral meetings.
Mr. Nijjar, 45, was shot near a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia. Investigators from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said he was ambushed by masked men, but would not reveal whether the attack appeared politically motivated.
But Mr. Nijjar was known for his advocacy of the creation of an independent Sikh nation, Khalistan, that would include parts of India's Punjab state, and India had declared him a wanted terrorist.
..... Our citizens must be safe from extrajudicial killings of all kinds, most of all from foreign governments."
Trudeau implicates India in activist's assassination, expels top diplomat
Canadian PM Trudeau Expels Top Indian Diplomat Over Alleged Involvement in Sikh Activist's Murder
OTTAWA - Canada has taken a strong stance in response to credible allegations that the Indian government may have had links to the assassination of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil. .....
Trudeau further disclosed that he had personally confronted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the matter during the G-20 summit last week. ..... However, Trudeau made it clear that Canada has conveyed its deep concerns to the Indian government and is urging them to cooperate fully to uncover the truth. Trudeau assured the public that his government has been coordinating closely with Canada's allies and has declared its commitment to getting to the bottom of the matter. He also acknowledged the fear and anger within the Indo-Canadian community and called for calm.
..... LeBlanc emphasized that the investigation into Nijjar's murder is an active homicide investigation led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
The Khalistan movement, which seeks an independent Sikh homeland, is banned in India. Indian officials perceive the movement and its affiliated groups as a national security threat. However, the movement still garners support in northern India and among Sikh communities in countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom, which have substantial Sikh diasporas.
Trudeau's efforts to address the issue have extended beyond India. He also raised the matter with US President Joe Biden, emphasizing the seriousness of the allegations and the need for cooperation in the investigation. Opposition leader Pierre Poilievre, from the Conservative party, condemned the alleged involvement of the Indian government, calling it an outrageous affront to Canada's sovereignty.
As the investigation unfolds, Canadians are eagerly awaiting further developments and hoping for justice to be served in the tragic murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
India expels diplomat from Canada as relations plummet over Sikh leader's assassination
India's government strongly denied on Tuesday any involvement in the murder of a prominent Sikh leader in Canada and expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat response as tension between the two countries soars. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau drew India's ire by suggesting Indian officials could have had a role in the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
"We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament... such unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India's sovereignty," Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said Tuesday a statement posted on social media.
A second social media post shared by Bagchi said that the Canadian High Commissioner in India had been summoned and a senior Canadian diplomat had been expelled from the country in retaliation for Ottawa booting a senior Indian diplomat on Monday.
The Sikhs are a religious minority in India and Nijjar was a supporter of a separate state for the community. His killing sparked protests by Sikhs in Canada, who blame the Indian government for the murder.
The Khalistan movement that supports the creation of a new Khalistan state is a banned organization in India. Nijjar's name appeared on the Indian Home Affairs terror watch list prior to his shooting.
In August, Canadian investigators said they believed three suspects were involved in the shooting of Nijjar. They released security camera video of a car they believe was used by two gunmen to escape, aided and abetted by the vehicle driver.
Trudeau Rejects India's Denial of Involvement in Assassination in Canada
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada on Tuesday firmly rejected the Indian government's denial of any involvement in the assassination of a Sikh dissident in Canada, calling on India to take his country's allegations seriously.
"We are not looking to provoke or escalate," Mr. Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa. "We are simply laying out the facts as we understand them and we want to work with the government of India."
On Monday, the prime minister stunned Canadians when he told the House of Commons that "agents of the Indian government" were behind the shooting death in June of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh separatist leader and a Canadian citizen, near a Sikh temple in suburban Vancouver, British Columbia.
The prime minister offered no details to support his charge that a nation had ordered a political killing on its soil, only citing "credible allegations" that had been pursued by Canadian security agencies for several weeks.
Canada's intelligence agencies, noting the continuing police investigation into the Mr. Nijjar's killing and the need to protect intelligence gathering methods, have declined to offer any more details.
A Canadian government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information, said the intelligence had been gathered by multiple countries. Canada is a member of the so-called five eyes, an intelligence alliance that includes the United States, Britain and Australia.
India has long claimed that Canada is harboring Sikh terrorists plotting from abroad to fracture the Indian state by providing funding and planning to create a separate Sikh nation called Khalistan within India's Punjab region. Mr. Nijjar was active in that independence movement.
He had been a key organizer in rallying community members in British Columbia to vote for an independent state of Khalistan. The nonbinding vote, organized by a Washington, D.C., based group called Sikhs For Justice, is being held in multiple cities around the world.
"I am a Sikh nationalist who believes in and supports Sikh's right to self-determination and independence of Indian occupied Punjab through a future referendum," Mr. Nijjar wrote in an open letter in 2016.
Mr. Nijjar's participation in the movement for an independent state was prominent in India's adamant denial of involvement on Monday.
In its statement, the foreign ministry of India said that it rejected "any attempts to connect the government of India" to Mr. Nijjar's killing and charged that Canada shelters "extremists and terrorists" who "continue to threaten India's sovereignty and territorial integrity."
Roland Paris, a professor at the University of Ottawa and a former foreign policy adviser to Mr. Trudeau, said the allegation and the denial had created a sense of outrage and anger in Canada that crosses all political lines.
"It's a stunning and appalling set of allegations," Professor Paris said. "If it's true that India was behind this killing, then it represents the most offensive and appalling form of political interference in a democracy that would parallel the behavior of some of the worst authoritarian leaders in the world."
On Tuesday morning in Surrey, British Columbia, women in colorful suits and saris came to offer prayers and join in a meal service offered by the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, the temple where Mr. Nijjar was president.
The previous evening outside of the temple, Mr. Nijjar's son, Balraj Singh Nijjar, said his father's death remains a fresh wound for his family.
"He had even called home like five minutes before it happened to get dinner ready," his son said, speaking to reporters outside the temple. "It was kind of a big shock."
Mihika Agarwal contributed reporting from Surrey, British Columbia.
Canada says it suspects India involved in Sikh leader murder
OTTAWA - Canada said on Monday it had credible information linking Indian government agents to the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in British Columbia in June and said it had expelled a senior Indian intelligence official.
The announcement marks a significant worsening of bilateral ties at a time when India is already unhappy that Canadian authorities are not cracking down on Sikh protesters who want their own independent homeland.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar, was shot dead outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18.
Nijjar supported a Sikh homeland in the form of an independent Khalistani state and was designated by India as a “terrorist” in July 2020, India's The Tribune newspaper said.
Canada has the highest population of Sikhs outside their home state of Punjab in India, and the country has been the site of many demonstrations that have irked India.
Canada is home to one of the largest overseas communities of Indian origin, which number approximately 1.4 million out of an overall Canadian population of 40 million. About 770,000 people reported Sikhism as their religion in the 2021 Census.
The two countries, which earlier this year said they could agree the outlines of a trade deal by end-2023, have now frozen talks on the agreement. Canada gave few details while India cited "certain political developments."
Joly told reporters that Ottawa had expelled the Indian head of intelligence in Canada but gave no further details.
In April, India asked Britain for increased monitoring of UK-based supporters of a Sikh separatist movement. New Delhi was upset after protesters carrying “Khalistan” banners detached the Indian flag from the diplomatic mission's building in London.
Reporting by David Ljunggren and Steve Scherer; Editing by Mark Porter, William Maclean and Sandra Maler
India tells citizens in Canada to 'exercise utmost caution' in dispute over murdered Sikh activist
Hardeep Singh Nijjar killed in British Columbia in June; Canada's PM Trudeau vows investigation.India's government is warning its citizens in Canada on Wednesday to "exercise utmost caution" as tensions escalate between the two countries after the murder of a Sikh activist on Canadian soil in June.
"In view of growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada, all Indian nationals there and those contemplating travel are urged to exercise utmost caution," the India Ministry of External Affairs said Wednesday in a statement.
"Recently, threats have particularly targeted Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community who oppose the anti-India agenda," the statement continued without elaborating.
"Given the deteriorating security environment in Canada, Indian students in particular are advised to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant," it also said.
India responded Monday by saying allegations of its "involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated."
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"We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to rule of law," its Ministry of External Affairs added. .....
Fox News' Bradford Betz and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Canada Accuses India of Instigating Sikh's Killing
In a shocking revelation on Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused government agents from India of being involved in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh community leader in British Columbia. These allegations have further widened the growing rift between Canada and India, intensifying a political dispute between the two nations. The incident sheds light on the life of Hardeep Singh Nijjar and the circumstances surrounding his death.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, was born in Punjab, a North Indian state. He moved to Canada in the mid-1990s after facing difficulties gaining entry due to the Indian government's crackdown on the Sikh separatist movement. Nijjar worked as a plumber in Canada, got married, and had two sons. He became a Canadian citizen in 2015 and served as the president of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia, in 2020. Nijjar was known for his strong advocacy for a Sikh homeland called Khalistan, which would be formed from part of Punjab State.
However, the Indian government declared Nijjar a terrorist in 2020, accusing him of planning a violent attack in India and leading a banned terrorist group called the Khalistan Tiger Force. Nevertheless, many locals in Punjab expressed ignorance about Nijjar and his movement, casting doubt on the validity of these charges.
In June, Nijjar was shot near the Sikh temple he led. .....
Prime Minister Trudeau addressed the issue on Monday, revealing that government agents from India were linked to Nijjar's killing on Canadian soil. Trudeau stated that the evidence of the ambush was based on intelligence gathered by the Canadian government. ..... Trudeau announced that Canada would pressurize India to cooperate with the investigation into Nijjar's death. .....
In a tit-for-tat move, India denied the allegations and expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in India. The Indian government accused Canada of harboring Sikh terrorists and supporting the creation of Khalistan. India also accused Canada of sheltering extremists and terrorists who pose a threat to India's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Prime Minister Trudeau rejected India's denial, emphasizing that Canada wants to work with the Indian government and is not seeking to provoke or escalate the situation.
The killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar has ignited a major diplomatic dispute between Canada and India. Nijjar's advocacy for an independent Sikh nation, Khalistan, has long been a contentious issue between the two countries. While the Indian government declared Nijjar a terrorist, many in Punjab claim to be unaware of his existence. The accusations and counter-accusations have further strained the relationship between Canada and India, with both countries taking diplomatic actions against each other.
As the investigation into Nijjar's death continues, his family and the Sikh community mourn the loss of their leader. Balraj Singh Nijjar, his son, called on Prime Minister Trudeau to rally with allies and increase pressure on the Indian government. The death of Nijjar remains a painful and shocking event for his family, who remember him as a loving father who had called home just moments before his tragic demise. The future of relations between Canada and India hangs in the balance as the truth behind Nijjar's killing unfolds.
Canada rejects Indian travel advisory amid probe of Sikh leader killing
Canada has flatly rejected an Indian travel advisory urging "utmost caution" when visiting the North American country, in the latest sign of escalating tensions.
On Wednesday, Canadian Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc responded to the travel alert shortly after it was announced, telling reporters, "Canada is a safe country."Keep reading
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Canada likewise updated its travel information this week, warning travellers to exercise a "high degree of caution" when stopping in India due to the "threat of terrorist attacks".
The tit-for-tat over travel advisories comes in the midst of an ongoing political row between Canada and India.
On Monday, tensions skyrocketed when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced officials were probing "credible allegations of a potential link" between Indian government agents and the June killing of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
India's foreign ministry did not directly reference Trudeau's remarks in its advisory on Wednesday. Instead, it said in a statement that New Delhi was concerned for the safety of its citizens in Canada due to "politically condoned hate crimes and criminal violence".
..... Indian nationals are therefore advised to avoid travelling to regions and potential venues in Canada that have seen such incidents."
Trudeau's announcement of the investigation - made in dramatic fashion before Canada's House of Commons - inflamed long-running tensions between Ottawa and New Delhi over the advocacy of Sikhs in Canada who support the creation of an independent Sikh state in India.
Sikh advocates have said they have faced persecution, surveillance and regular threats under the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while New Delhi has regularly accused the separatist movement of plotting violence.
What We Know About Canada's Claims Against India About a Sikh's Killing
Here is what we know:Who was Hardeep Singh Nijjar, and what happened to him?
In Canada, Mr. ..... He obtained his Canadian citizenship in 2015, according to Canada's immigration minister, Marc Miller, in a post on X, formerly called Twitter. In 2020, Mr. Nijjar became the president of a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia, the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara.
Mr. ..... He had been a key figure in British Columbia rallying votes for a referendum in Canada supporting the establishment of a nation called Khalistan from part of Punjab State.
The Indian government declared Mr. Nijjar a terrorist in 2020, decades after he left India. It accused him of plotting a violent attack in India and leading a terrorist group called the Khalistan Tiger Force. In Punjab, however, politicians and journalists asserted that despite such charges against him, many locals had never heard of him or his movement.
Mr. ..... While investigators from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police later said he had been ambushed by masked men, they did not disclose if the attack had been politically motivated.What did Canada say?
On Monday, the Canadian prime minister told lawmakers that "agents of the government of India" had been linked to Mr. Nijjar's killing on Canadian soil.
..... Trudeau said on Monday, adding that Canada would pressure India to cooperate with investigations into Mr. Nijjar's death.
.....How did India respond?
The Indian government has vehemently denied the allegations by Mr. Trudeau. Mr. Modi "completely rejected" them, according to India's foreign ministry.
In a statement, the ministry office also spurned "any attempts to connect the government of India" to Mr. Nijjar's killing and called the accusations "absurd."
The Indian government also fired back at Canada, accusing the country of sheltering "extremists and terrorists" who "continue to threaten India's sovereignty and territorial integrity."
India has long said that Canada is harboring Sikh terrorists and providing funding to create Khalistan. In the past, Indian officials have also accused Britain, the United States and Australia of passivity against separatist movements in their countries.
Mr. Trudeau rejected India's denial on Tuesday morning. "We are not looking to provoke or escalate," he told reporters in Ottawa before flying to New York for the United Nations General Assembly. .....