Canada has accused India of being behind the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen and a prominent Sikh leader who advocated for an independent Khalistan.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday that there were “credible allegations” linking the Indian government to the slaying and expelled an Indian diplomat from Canada.
Nijjar, who was the chief of the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), a separatist group designated as a terrorist organization by India, was shot dead in the parking lot of a gurdwara in Surrey, Canada, on June 18.
He had moved to Canada in 1997 and claimed that he was tortured by Indian police for his involvement in the Khalistan movement.
The World Sikh Organization of Canada, a human rights group, welcomed Trudeau’s statement and called for a thorough investigation into the role of Indian agents in Nijjar’s murder. The group said that Nijjar had been apprehensive that he would be targeted by Indian intelligence agencies and that he had received threats from gang members who were allegedly hired by India.
Nijjar’s killing is the latest in a series of mysterious deaths of Khalistanis abroad in recent months. Four other prominent Khalistani leaders, namely Paramjit Singh Panjwar, Avtar Singh Khanda, Harmeet Singh and Lakhbir Singh Rode, have died in Pakistan and the UK since January this year. Some of these deaths have also been attributed to poisoning or shooting by unknown assailants.