Canada’s prime minister has mentioned Canadian safety businesses are investigating “credible allegations of a possible hyperlink” between Indian authorities brokers and the killing of a outstanding Sikh-Canadian activist earlier this yr.
Talking in Parliament on Monday afternoon, Justin Trudeau mentioned he personally conveyed “deep considerations” to his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, at the Group of 20 summit in New Delhi earlier this month.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar was fatally shot on June 18 outdoors a Sikh temple in Surrey, a metropolis in Canada’s westernmost province of British Columbia, spurring widespread questions and condemnation.
“Any involvement of a international authorities within the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” Trudeau mentioned on Monday.
“Within the strongest attainable phrases, I proceed to induce the federal government of India to cooperate with Canada to resolve this matter.”
The Excessive Fee of India within the Canadian capital Ottawa didn’t instantly return Al Jazeera’s request for touch upon the allegations.
Canadian International Minister Melanie Joly mentioned in a while Monday that the federal government had expelled an Indian diplomat – the top of India’s exterior intelligence company, often known as RAW, in Canada – over the allegations.
She didn’t present further particulars, such because the official’s identify or when the expulsion came about.
“We see this attainable breach of sovereignty as fully unacceptable, and in order that can be why we’re coming [out] with this data right now,” Joly advised reporters throughout a short information convention.
The Globe and Mail newspaper first reported that Canadian nationwide safety authorities have “what they take into account credible intelligence that India was behind” the killing of Nijjar.
Sources that spoke to the Canadian information outlet didn’t say how they made that willpower.
“The Canadian authorities has privately dominated out severing diplomatic relations with New Delhi however is contemplating measures to answer what it considers a severe violation of Canadian sovereignty,” the newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources.
Monday’s accusations come amid already strained relations between Ottawa and New Delhi, which have been examined over a spread of points together with a stalled commerce deal and Sikh activism in Canada extra broadly.
Modi, the Indian prime minister, expressed “sturdy considerations” about Sikh protests in Canada throughout his talks with Trudeau on the sidelines of the G20, the Indian authorities mentioned in a press release after the discussions.
“They’re selling secessionism and inciting violence towards Indian diplomats, damaging diplomatic premises, and threatening the Indian group in Canada and their locations of worship,” the statement mentioned.
In line with the Globe and Mail and different media experiences, Nijjar was designated as a “terrorist” by the Indian authorities.
“India’s counter-terrorism Nationwide Investigation Company (NIA) has alleged he conspired to kill a Hindu priest in Punjab and in 2022 it introduced a reward equal to $16,200 for data resulting in his arrest,” the Canadian newspaper mentioned on Monday.
The activist was additionally concerned with a bunch referred to as “Sikhs for Justice”, CBC Information has reported. The organisation pushes for an impartial Sikh state in India, a name the Indian authorities have rejected outright.
Canadian lawmakers from throughout the political spectrum have been fast to denounce India on Monday for its potential position within the activist’s killing.
Pierre Poilievre, the chief of the opposition Conservative Get together, mentioned within the Home of Commons that if if the allegations are true, they’d symbolize an “outrageous affront” to Canadian sovereignty.
“Canadians should be protected on Canadian soil,” Poilievre mentioned. “We name on the Indian authorities to behave with utmost transparency as authorities examine this homicide as a result of the reality should come out.”
Canadian authorities proceed to research Nijjar’s killing, with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) saying last month that they’d recognized a automobile believed to have been concerned within the incident. Authorities say they’re searching for three suspects.
Jagmeet Singh, the chief of the progressive New Democratic Get together (NDP), who’s of Sikh descent, mentioned it was necessary for Canada to make use of “each software” out there to research the killing.
“We have to know the reality. We have to know all potential hyperlinks, and anybody and everybody accountable must be dropped at justice utilizing the complete energy of a democratic nation,” Singh mentioned.