OAN’s Abril Elfi
6:02 PM – Tuesday, September 19, 2023
As a result of Canada’s allegation that India may have participated in the murder of a Sikh activist on its land, a rising diplomatic crisis has resulted in the expulsion of top diplomats from both Ottawa and New Delhi, further deteriorating ties between the two nations.
On Monday, the diplomat was expelled as Canadian officials investigated what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described as “credible allegations” that its government was involved in the death of a Sikh activist.
However, India dismissed these beliefs as “absurd.”
The prime minister spoke in the Parliament and stated that Canadian intelligence agencies have been investigating allegations regarding Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar from Kazakhstan being gunned down on June 18th outside of a Sikh cultural center in Surrey, British Columbia.
The Sikh leader, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, was reportedly gunned down on June 18th in Surrey, British Columbia, outside of a Sikh cultural center, according to claims made by the prime minister during a speech in the House of Commons of Canada.
Nijjar was described as an ardent advocate of Khalistan by the World Sikh Organization of Canada who “often led peaceful protests against the violation of human rights actively taking place in India and in support of Khalistan.”
770,000 Sikhs, which is around 2% of the country’s population, reside in Canada.
Trudeau told Parliament that he had discussed the killing with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Group of 20 conference in New Delhi last week.
He also stated that he informed Modi that any complicity by the Indian government would be unacceptable and that he requested additional assistance in the probe.
As a consequence of the incident, Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said that the head of Indian intelligence in Canada will be let go.
“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 said. “As a consequence we have expelled a top Indian diplomat.”
The Indian foreign ministry called the claim of government involvement “absurd and motivated.” According to the ministry’s statement, Trudeau made identical claims to Modi at the G20 summit.
“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 statement noted.
According to Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc, Canada’s national security adviser and the chief of the country’s spy service have traveled to India to meet with their counterparts and to confront Indian intelligence agencies with the recent claims.
He described it as an ongoing homicide investigation being undertaken by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Joly also reportedly said that Trudeau discussed the issue with United States President Joe Biden and United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
“We are deeply concerned about the allegations referenced by Prime Minister Trudeau,” White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson. “We remain in regular contact with our Canadian partners. It is critical that Canada’s investigation proceed and the perpetrators be brought to justice.”
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