Canada declares Sikh leader killing by India ‘unacceptable violation of sovereignty’

Canada declares Sikh leader killing by India 'unacceptable violation of sovereignty’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has accused India of involvement in killing of a prominent Sikh separatist leader, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, in British Columbia in June.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued an emergency statement to the House of Commons, denouncing any foreign government’s involvement in the murder of a Canadian citizen as an “unacceptable violation of our sovereignty.”

Hardeep Singh Nijjar was a prominent voice for creation of an independent state for Sikhs ‘Khalistan’.

Trudeau disclosed that Canadian security agencies were actively investigating potential links between Indian government agents and Nijjar’s assassination. He had personally discussed the matter with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the G20 summit in New Delhi, urging India to cooperate in uncovering the truth.

In response to these allegations, Canada expelled India’s top intelligence agent without providing specific details. This move further escalates tensions between the two countries, with India expressing displeasure over Sikh separatist activities in Canada.

Trade relations have also been affected, as talks on a proposed trade deal have been frozen. This impasse could have significant economic consequences, even though bilateral trade in 2022 accounted for a relatively modest $10.2 billion out of Canada’s massive total trade volume.

The international community has taken notice of this diplomatic standoff. The U.S. National Security Council expressed deep concerns over the allegations raised by Prime Minister Trudeau.

It’s important to note that Trudeau did not directly accuse India of involvement in the murder, and Foreign Minister Melanie Joly used more cautious language, stating that the allegations would be unacceptable “if proven true.”

The murder investigation itself remains ongoing, with British Columbia’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team identifying three suspects but making no arrests to date.

Canada’s sizeable Sikh population and Indian-origin community, combined with their complex history and differing opinions on Sikh separatism, make this a highly sensitive issue. As both countries grapple with the fallout from these allegations, the international community watches closely, hoping for a peaceful resolution to this escalating diplomatic crisis.


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