Trudeau Accuses India in Sikh Leader's Killing

Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot by masked men in Canada
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2023 6:25 PM CDT
Trudeau Accuses India in Sikh Leader's Killing
Protesters chant outside the Consulate General of India office during a protest on June 24 over the shooting death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.   (Ethan Cairns/The Canadian Press via AP)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the House of Commons on Monday that the Indian government ordered the assassination of a Sikh leader this summer on Canadian soil. Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, was shot in June while sitting in his truck in a busy parking lot near a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia, a city near Vancouver, the BBC reports. Canadian intelligence linked India to the killing, Trudeau said. "Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty," Trudeau told lawmakers.

At the Group of 20 summit this month, he made the accusation to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi "in no uncertain terms," Trudeau said, per the New York Times. Modi in turn said Trudeau's government is not doing enough to quell "anti-India activities of extremist elements"—by which he meant the Sikh separatist movement in Canada. Nijjar advocated for an independent Sikh nation that would include parts of India's Punjab state. India had labeled him a terrorist who led a militant separatist group, which his supporters denied. Later in the day, the foreign minister announced the expulsion of a diplomat she said was the head of Indian intelligence in Canada. (Read more Canada stories.)

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