New Delhi has strongly rejected and labeled as “absurd and motivated” the accusations made by the Canadian government, which alleges the involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistan separatist movement leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen. This rebuttal comes as Canada expelled a senior Indian diplomat on Monday after conducting an investigation into credible allegations that the Indian government may have had connections to the killing of Nijjar, who was shot outside a Sikh cultural center in Surrey, British Columbia on June 18.
In an urgent address to lawmakers in Parliament, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau disclosed that Canada’s security agencies have been investigating the potential link between agents of the Indian government and Nijjar’s murder on Canadian soil. The Indian foreign ministry responded to these allegations, stating, “Allegations of the Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated.”
New Delhi further expressed concerns regarding Canada’s failure to take action against Khalistani terrorists and extremists who have been provided shelter in the country and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Indian government criticized Canadian political figures for openly expressing sympathy towards these elements, calling it a matter of deep concern.
The Indian foreign ministry called attention to the fact that Canada’s tolerance towards various illegal activities, including murders, human trafficking, and organized crime, is not a new phenomenon. They emphasized the need for the Canadian government to take prompt and effective legal action against all anti-India elements operating from its soil. The statement outlined the Indian government’s rejection of any attempts to connect them to such developments.
Canada’s response to the alleged Indian involvement in Nijjar’s killing has strained relations between the two countries. This comes just days after Canada canceled a trade mission to India and the Indian government confirmed that crucial trade talks with Canada had been frozen due to “certain issues.” During the G20 leaders summit in New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Modi conveyed his strong concerns to Trudeau regarding Canada’s approach to Khalistan activism.
This latest development follows a previous incident in which New Delhi summoned the Canadian High Commissioner over the release of posters by pro-Khalistan supporters ahead of a “Freedom Rally” outside Indian consulates in Toronto and Vancouver. The posters, which labeled Indian diplomats as “killers,” triggered outrage among the Punjabi diaspora in Canada. The Canadian government denounced the posters as “unacceptable” and emphasized its commitment to the safety of diplomats.
As tensions continue to escalate between India and Canada, it remains to be seen how these issues will impact bilateral relations and whether both countries can find common ground to address the challenges they face.