Canada expelled a top Indian diplomat Monday as it examines what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called trustworthy claims that India’s federal government might have had links to the assassination in Canada of a Sikh activist.
Trudeau stated in Parliament that Canadian intelligence companies have actually been checking out the claims after Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a strong fan of an independent Sikh homeland called Khalistan, was assassinated on June 18 outside a Sikh cultural center in Surrey, British Columbia.
Trudeau informed Parliament that he raised the slaying with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G-20 recently. He stated he informed Modi that any Indian federal government participation would be inappropriate which he requested cooperation in the examination.
Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly stated the head of Indian intelligence in Canada has actually been expelled as a repercussion.
“If proven true this would be a great violation of our sovereignty and of the most basic rule of how countries deal with each other,” Joly stated. “As a consequence we have expelled a top Indian diplomat.”
The Indian Embassy in Ottawa did not instantly address telephone call from The Associated Press looking for remark.
Canada has a Sikh population of more than 770,000, or about 2% of its overall population.
“Over the past number of weeks Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar,” Trudeau stated.
Trudeau stated Canada has actually stated its deep issues to the Indian federal government. “Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty.”
Trudeau stated his federal government has actually been working carefully and collaborating with Canada’s allies on the case.
“In the strongest possible terms I continue to urge the government of India to cooperate with Canada to get to the bottom of this matter,” he stated.
Trudeau stated he understands there are some members of the Indo-Canadian neighborhood who feel mad or scared, and he required calm.
Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc stated Canada’s nationwide security consultant and the head of Canada’s spy service have actually taken a trip to India to satisfy their equivalents and to challenge the Indian intelligence companies with the claims.
He called it an active murder examination led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Joly stated Trudeau likewise raised the matter with U.S. President Joe Biden and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Joly likewise stated she would raise the concern with her peers in the G7 on Monday night in New York City ahead of the United Nations General Assembly
Relations in between Canada and India have actually been tense. Trade talks have actually been thwarted and Canada simply canceled a trade objective to India that was prepared for the fall.
Opposition Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre stated if the claims hold true they represent “an outrageous affront to our sovereignty.”
“Canadians deserve to be protected on Canadian soil. We call on the Indian government to act with utmost transparency as authorities investigate this murder, because the truth must come out,” Poilievre stated.
Opposition New Democrat leader Jagmeet Singh, who is himself Sikh, called it outrageous and stunning. Singh stated he matured hearing stories that tough India’s record on human rights may avoid you from getting a visa to take a trip there.
“But 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,” Singh stated.
The Khalistan motion is prohibited in India, where authorities see it and associated groups as a nationwide security danger. But the motion still has some assistance in northern India, in addition to beyond, in nations like Canada and the United Kingdom which are house to a large Sikh diaspora.
Modi revealed “strong concerns” over Canada’s handling of the Punjabi self-reliance motion amongst the abroad diaspora recently throughout a conference with Trudeau at the G-20, according to a declaration launched by India’s Ministry of External Affairs.
The declaration explained the Sikh motion as “promoting secessionism and inciting violence” versus Indian diplomats. It gotten in touch with Canada to deal with India on what New Delhi stated is a risk to the Canadian Indian diaspora.
The World Sikh Organization of Canada called Nijjar an outspoken fan of Khalistan who “often led peaceful protests against the violation of human rights actively taking place in India and in support of Khalistan.”
“Nijjar had publicly spoken of the threat to his life for months and said that he was targeted by Indian intelligence agencies,” the declaration stated.