Three charged with the murder of the Sikh separatist leader in Canada, in an incident that sparked a diplomatic row with India | World News

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sparked outrage in India when he said there were “credible allegations” that Narendra Modi’s government was involved in the murder of a Canadian citizen.

Friday 3 May 2024 22:00, United Kingdom

Canadian police have charged three suspects with the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in Vancouver last June, in an incident that sparked a diplomatic row between Ottawa and New Delhi.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, was shot dead outside a temple by masked gunmen in Surrey, outside Vancouver, on June 18, 2023.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Deputy Commissioner David Teboul said police could not comment on the nature of the evidence or the motive.

“This matter is under active investigation,” Teboul said.

The three suspects, Indian nationals Kamalpreet Singh, Karan Brar and Karampreet Singh, were arrested in Edmonton, Alberta, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.

Superintendent Mandeep Mooker said: “This investigation does not end here. We are aware that others may have played a role in this homicide and we remain dedicated to finding and arresting each of these individuals.”

Canada assassination ‘linked’ to Indian government

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sparked a diplomatic dispute with India when he said in September that there were “credible allegations” of Indian involvement in the murder. India He angrily denied his involvement.

Mr. Nijjar, a citizen of Indian origin from Canadawas a leader in what remains of Calistan’s movement – a once-strong group calling for the creation of an independent Sikh homeland.

He was organizing an unofficial referendum in India for an independent Sikh nation at the time of this death and had denied accusations of links to terrorism.

The Khalistan movement has lost much of its power, but still enjoys support from some in the northwestern Indian state of Punjab and from the Sikh diaspora abroad.

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A violent, decade-long Sikh insurgency shook northern India in the 1970s and 1980s and was eventually crushed by a government crackdown that left thousands dead, including prominent Sikh leaders.

In June 1984, Indian forces stormed the Golden Temple, the holiest Sikh shrine in Amritsar, where separatists had taken refuge.

In more recent years, the Indian government has repeatedly warned that Sikh separatists were attempting to return.

Read more: What is the Khalistan movement?

Trudeau’s accusation infuriated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File photo: AP

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The diplomatic dispute saw Diplomats expelled by both India and Canada.

The Indian government said it “completely rejects” Trudeau’s allegations, adding: “We are a democratic political entity with a strong commitment to the rule of law.”

The dispute derailed trade talks between the two countries and ultimately saw Canada withdraws 41 of its 62 diplomats in India.

At the time, Canada provided no public evidence to support Trudeau’s allegations. However, it did reveal the The claims were based on intelligence provided by a major ally. and surveillance of Indian diplomats in the country.