Canada’s prime minister pointed the finger at India in the alleged assassination of a Canadian Sikh leader, halting the two country’s trade talks and starting a diplomatic face-off.
Justin Trudeau pointed towards India, claiming “credible evidence” links them to the alleged assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a prominent Canadian Sikh leader.
India Denies Involvement
India swiftly dismissed Trudeau’s claims as “absurd” and rejected any association with the alleged assassination.
Trudeau declared any foreign government’s involvement in a Canadian citizen’s killing on Canadian soil as an “unacceptable violation” of their sovereignty.
Trudeau’s Demand for Accountability
Trudeau demanded accountability and urged the need to hold the alleged perpetrators accountable for this grave crime, calling the killing “contrary to the fundamental rules by which free, open, and democratic societies conduct themselves.”
Canada expelled a “key Indian diplomat” while expecting India to collaborate, further heightening tensions between the nations.
India retaliated by expelling a senior Canadian diplomat, citing concerns over Canadian diplomats interfering in their internal matters.
Strained Bilateral Relations
Trudeau’s allegations threaten to strain relations between India and Canada, putting the spotlight on a complex diplomatic struggle.
Political Leaders React
Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democratic Party, was in disbelief, “To hear the prime minister of Canada corroborate a potential link between a murder of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil by a foreign government is something I could never have imagined.”
Calls for Justice
Singh also argued for a thorough investigation, while the Conservative leader demanded transparency and justice.
The alleged assassination involves Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a vocal Khalistan movement advocate, who was shot and killed in British Columbia.
The Khalistan movement seeks to create an independent state for Sikhs. The hypothetical state would take its land mostly or entirely from India, and as such is fiercely opposed by the Indian state.
Previous Allegations of Murder
India had previously accused Nijjar of plotting to murder a Hindu priest, further fueling suspicions regarding his assassination.
Accusing India of Targeting Sikh’s Across the World
The World Sikh Organisation expressed concerns, echoing what they believe Sikhs in Canada have known for decades – that India actively targets Sikhs abroad.
A Prominent Investigation
The RCMP, Canada’s federal police agency, is leading the investigation, vowing to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Disrupted Trade Talks
The startling allegations come at a time when India and Canada are negotiating a trade agreement, but talks have been paused due to these developments.
New Delhi’s Stance
Modi’s office expressed concerns over extremist elements in Canada, hinting at strained relations and potential implications on trade discussions.
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