Canada accuses India for Khalistani’s killing; baseless, say Delhi

Both countries have also expelled a diplomat of each other

NEW DELHI | Updated: 19 September, 2023 1:03 pm IST
Indian government denied the allegation made by Justine Trudeau

NEW DELHI: Days after PM Justin Trudeau’s tense New Delhi visit, a diplomatic row has erupted between India and Canada after he claimed the hands of Indian agents behind the killing of “most wanted” Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Trudeau also told the Canadian parliament that he raised the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit, which was marked by the Modi government’s cold response and plane glitches.

Najjar, the chief of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) was killed by two unidentified gunmen Surrey, British Columbia on June 28 this year.

In his address, Trudeau accused India of inciting violence in Canada and killing Nijjar, a Canadian citizen. Within hours, Canada expelled a senior Indian diplomat working.

 

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India has denied the allegations, calling them “absurd and motivated.” It has also expelled a Canadian diplomat in retaliation.

Nijjar was one of India’s most-wanted terrorists, carrying a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head.

The killing has exacerbated tensions between India and Canada, which have a long history of diplomatic disputes over the issue of Khalistani separatism.

Canada is home to a large Sikh diaspora, including many Khalistani separatists who have fled India to escape prosecution. India has repeatedly accused Canada of harboring and supporting these separatists.

In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said: “Allegations of Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated. Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister, and were completely rejected. We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to rule of law.”

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The statement added: “Such unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The inaction of the Canadian Government on this matter has been a long-standing and continuing concern. That Canadian political figures have openly expressed sympathy for such elements remains a matter of deep concern.”

The diplomatic row between India and Canada is likely to have a negative impact on bilateral relations between the two countries.

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