India-Canada Tensions Rise: Sikh Leader’s Death Accusation Leads to Diplomat Expulsion

During the G20 summit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited India and had diplomatic discussions. While India-Canada relations have generally been cordial, Prime Minister Trudeau raised a sensitive issue during his visit. He accused the Indian government of orchestrating the assassination of a Sikh leader, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, through Indian government agents operating in British Columbia, Canada.

Trudeau made these allegations during a session in the Canadian Parliament, stating that Indian government agents had carried out the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June. The Canadian government has reportedly expelled a diplomat from India in connection with this case. India, in response, has taken a strong stance, stating that Canada should refrain from using allegations of Sikh extremism to divert attention. India also asked Canada to recall its high commissioner from the country.

Trudeau mentioned during his visit that he had raised these issues with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the G20 meeting held on September 9-10. He emphasized that they had discussed these matters on the basis of confidential information obtained by the Canadian government. It is worth noting that at the same time, Canada’s Foreign Minister provided information that a Canadian citizen had been deported by the Indian government, who was allegedly linked to India’s intelligence agency. Trudeau did not provide any information regarding this deportation during his visit.

Trudeau says – India Will be Pressurized For Cooperation In The Investigation:

Justin Trudeau stated to the Members of Parliament that any foreign government’s interference in the assassination of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil constitutes a violation of Canada’s sovereignty. He mentioned that they would exert pressure on the Indian government to cooperate in the investigation. Trudeau also noted that many Sikhs of Indian origin living in Canada are upset about this assassination, and many Sikhs are fearful for their safety. India is home to a significant Sikh population, with 14 to 18 lakh (1.4 to 1.8 million) Indian-origin citizens, many of whom are Sikhs. Jagmeet Singh, the leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party, is also of Sikh descent.

India Responds – Canada’s Allegations Are Baseless:

India has categorically rejected all the allegations made by Canada. The Ministry of External Affairs stated that Canada’s allegations are unfounded. India has also conveyed this to Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau during their discussions. These allegations are seen as an attempt by Canada to divert attention from the issue of Sikh extremism and radicalism in Canada. India has expressed concerns about Canada providing a safe haven for extremist elements.

This Has Strained India-Canada Relations:

The ongoing allegations and counter-allegations have strained relations between Canada and India. Canada’s Prime Minister’s statements have raised concerns about the stability of bilateral relations between the two countries. Canada’s decision to provide asylum to individuals accused of extremism has been a matter of concern for India for some time. This month, Canada suspended bilateral trade negotiations with India. Additionally, during the G20 meeting, Prime Minister Modi declined bilateral discussions with Justin Trudeau.

British Columbia Gurudwara Near Miss on Nijjar’s Assassination:

The chief of the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), a Sikh extremist organization, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, was targeted for assassination in British Columbia, Canada. While residing in Canada, he had been actively promoting the Khalistani separatist movement in Punjab for quite some time. On June 18th, near the Gurudwara in Surrey, British Columbia, two unidentified gunmen opened fire on Nijjar, ultimately killing him. Nijjar was a prominent figure associated with the Gurudwara as well.

Nijjar was in his car in the parking area of the Gurudwara when the incident occurred. During the confrontation, two youths arrived on a motorcycle and began firing at him. Nijjar attempted to exit his car but was unable to do so, resulting in his tragic death on the spot.

Khalistani Organizations Had Accused RAW of Nijjar’s Assassination.

Khalistani groups had alleged on their social media accounts that India’s intelligence agency, RAW, was behind the killing of Nijjar. On June 23, Sikh organizations in Canada, including the British Columbia Gurudwara Council and the Ontario Gurudwara Committee, had written a letter to Canada’s Minister of Public Safety, Marco Mendicino, in which they raised suspicion about the involvement of Indian agencies in Nijjar’s murder. Several such letters were sent to the Canadian government.

On July 8, in Canada, a Khalistan Freedom Rally was organized in memory of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The event took place in Toronto and concluded at the Indian Consulate. Supporters from both sides were present at the event. After this event, there were conflicting reports and allegations between the two sides.

The Allegations in Question Can Strain India-Canada Relations.

India and Canada have had strained relations for some time. Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has been critical of India’s handling of certain issues, which has led to tensions between the two countries.

Prime Minister Trudeau attended the G-20 Summit in India, during which he expressed a desire for a bilateral meeting. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declined the request for such a meeting. Both leaders did have a brief exchange during the summit.

Following this meeting, allegations were made that Prime Minister Trudeau had interfered in India’s internal affairs, particularly regarding freedom of expression. Prime Minister Modi stated that peaceful protests are everyone’s right.

Just six days after this meeting, Canada delayed a free trade deal with India. An Indian official mentioned that trade discussions would only take place when other issues are resolved. Canada’s political events also played a role in the strained relations, as some events in Canada were seen as interfering in India’s domestic matters.

These events have led to a delay in trade talks between India and Canada. Trade negotiations will only resume once other issues have been addressed. Both countries remain hopeful that they can resolve their differences and maintain peaceful and productive relations.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.