Justin Trudeau urges India to investigate Sikh separatist's killing seriouslytext_fields
Ottawa: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stressed his intention not to provoke or escalate tensions with India but instead wants New Delhi to take the killing of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar seriously.
Trudeau previously made allegations suggesting the involvement of "agents of the Indian government" in the killing of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an incident that occurred in June. These allegations raised concerns, with the United States expressing deep reservations about the claims.
During a recent media briefing, Trudeau clarified his stance, stating, "We are not looking to provoke or escalate." He further emphasised, "We want to work with the government of India to clarify everything and ensure proper processes are followed."
In a speech to the House of Commons on Monday, Trudeau disclosed that Canadian security agencies had been actively investigating credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the Indian government and the killing of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
India has vehemently rejected Trudeau's claims, categorising them as absurd and motivated. The Indian foreign ministry also noted that similar allegations had previously been made by the Canadian Prime Minister to India's Prime Minister and were entirely rejected.
Recent developments have seen a diplomatic escalation between Canada and India, with both countries expelling a senior diplomat from the other's embassy. A Canadian diplomat was asked to leave India within five days.
This escalation followed discussions between Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G20 summit in India. During these talks, PM Modi conveyed concerns about extremist elements in Canada promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats.
Trudeau reaffirmed Canada's commitment to defending freedom of expression, conscience, and peaceful protest while also preventing violence and countering hatred.
Canada has been a favoured destination for expat Sikhs, where some elements have propagated extremism in recent months, straining bilateral relations and derailing trade discussions.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar, aged 45, was the leader of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force and one of India's most-wanted terrorists. He was fatally shot by unidentified gunmen on June 18 outside a gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.