Indian Nationals Arrested in Canada for Alleged Involvement in Sikh Separatist’s Murder

Indian Nationals Arrested in Canada for Alleged Involvement in Sikh Separatist’s Murder

Three Indian nationals have been arrested in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, for their alleged involvement in the murder of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Canadian authorities have stated that they are investigating any potential links between the suspects and the Indian government. Nijjar, who migrated to Canada in 1997 and became a citizen 18 years later, was wanted by Indian authorities for alleged terrorism and conspiracy to commit murder, charges he had denied.

Nijjar was shot dead by masked assailants in the car park of the Sikh temple he led in suburban Vancouver on June 18, 2023. The incident strained diplomatic relations between Canada and India after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned “credible allegations” linking Indian intelligence to the crime. India dismissed these allegations as “absurd,” leading to a temporary halt in visa processing and a significant reduction in Canada’s diplomatic presence in India.

India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has described Canada’s investigation as a “political compulsion” and urged Ottawa not to grant visas or political legitimacy to Sikh separatists. Jaishankar also expressed concerns about organized crime from Punjab operating in Canada and highlighted the lack of evidence sharing and cooperation between the two countries’ police agencies.

The three Indian nationals, all in their 20s, have been charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy. Canadian authorities have acknowledged the possibility of others being involved in Nijjar’s killing. While speaking at an event in Toronto celebrating Sikh heritage and culture, Trudeau acknowledged the fear and unease within the Sikh community but emphasized the importance of the rule of law and faith in the justice system.

Nijjar was an advocate for Khalistan, a separate Sikh state, and the movement gained support among a vocal minority within the Sikh diaspora, particularly in Canada. The movement, which sought to carve out a separate state from India, was suppressed by Indian security forces in the 1980s, resulting in thousands of deaths. India has repeatedly warned countries like Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom about the resurgence of Sikh separatist activities.

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

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