Muslim Canadians have voiced their solidarity with the Sikh community after the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh separatist leader who was shot dead outside a temple in Surrey, British Columbia, in June. Nijjar was a vocal advocate for the creation of Khalistan, a separate homeland for Sikhs in India’s Punjab state. He had been labelled a terrorist by India, which accused him of being involved in several attacks and running a militant group.
The killing of Nijjar has sparked a diplomatic row between Canada and India, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleging that India’s government was connected to the assassination. Trudeau said any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen was “an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty”. India has denied any role in the killing and called the allegations “absurd and motivated”.
Muslim activists in Canada have expressed their anger and concern over the killing of Nijjar, saying it was an attack on the freedom of expression and the right to self-determination of minority groups. They also condemned India’s alleged interference in Canada’s internal affairs and its human rights violations in Kashmir, another disputed region where Muslims are a majority.