Sikh leader's murder

Published:  01:37 AM, 20 September 2023

Canada-India at loggerheads

Canada-India at loggerheads Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh was gunned down outside a Sikh temple in British Columbia in June. -Reuters
Hours after the diplomatic ties between Canada and India nosedived over the murder of pro-Khalistan leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said he was "not looking to provoke or escalate" the matter, but pressed New Delhi to deal with the issue with "utmost seriousness".

"The government of India needs to take this matter with the utmost seriousness. We are doing that, we are not looking to provoke or escalate," Trudeau told reporters, news agency Reuters reported.

Earlier in the day, India expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move following an action similar to what Canada did on Monday. In a statement, Ministry of External Affairs said that the concerned diplomat has been asked to leave India within the next five days. "The decision reflects Government of India's growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti India activities," the statement read.

Earlier in the day, Canada had expelled an Indian diplomat amid the country's probe into India's  "possible link" to the murder of the pro-Khalistan leader. "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," Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said.

Nijjar, head of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Sahib in Surrey, Canada, was killed in June this year. He was the chief of the separatist organisation Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF). Nijjar, who was 46, was shot dead by two unidentified men on the premises of the gurdwara.

India has denied all allegations of involvement in the murder, calling them "absurd and motivated".

"Allegations of Government of India's involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated. Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister, and were completely rejected," a statement from the MEA read.

>>The Indian Express

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