Fourth suspect arrested in Nijjar murder

Canadian authorities have arrested a fourth Indian national in connection with the murder of Khalistan separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Amandeep Singh, 22, was charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, making his first court appearance on May 11. This arrest follows the earlier detention of three other Indian nationals—Karan Brar, Kamalpreet Singh, both 22, and Karanpreet Singh, 28—who were arrested on May 3 in Edmonton.

| Updated: 16 May, 2024 4:39 pm IST

NEW DELHI: Canadian authorities have arrested a fourth Indian national in connection with the murder of Khalistan separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Amandeep Singh, 22, was charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, making his first court appearance on May 11. This arrest follows the earlier detention of three other Indian nationals—Karan Brar, Kamalpreet Singh, both 22, and Karanpreet Singh, 28—who were arrested on May 3 in Edmonton.

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Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, was shot dead outside the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18, 2023. The killing has severely strained relations between India and Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused Indian agents of involvement in the murder, a claim India has strongly denied as “baseless.”

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) are investigating potential links between the suspects and the Indian government. However, RCMP Assistant Commissioner David Teboul refrained from commenting on these connections, emphasizing the ongoing nature of the investigation.

ALSO READ:Nijjar assassination suspects face arrest, India responds

In response to the arrests made by Canadian authorities, India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar categorically dismissed allegations of Indian government involvement in Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s assassination. Jaishankar attributed these accusations to internal Canadian politics and highlighted the growing influence of pro-Khalistan groups within Canada’s political landscape. He emphasized India’s stance, noting the absence of credible evidence provided by Canadian authorities linking the Indian government to Nijjar’s murder, reinforcing India’s commitment to legal protocols and due process.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a vocal advocate for Khalistan’s creation in Punjab, India, had been labeled a terrorist by Indian authorities, leading to extradition requests in 2016. However, Canada rejected these requests, underscoring the complex legal and diplomatic challenges surrounding extradition processes and international cooperation in criminal investigations.

The joint court appearance of the arrested individuals, including Amandeep Singh, scheduled for May 21, signifies a crucial milestone in this ongoing case. Beyond its legal significance, this case has brought into focus the intricate and divisive topic of Sikh separatism. Moreover, it has illuminated the underlying geopolitical tensions between India and Canada, underscoring the complexities of diplomatic relations amidst such sensitive issues

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