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NIA alleges Nijjar formed terror groups in Punjab for target killings, extortion

NIA alleges Nijjar formed terror groups in Punjab for target killings, extortion

New Delhi: Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the chief of the banned terrorist group Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), was involved in luring young individuals and organizing terrorist factions to engage in extortion activities for fundraising and the targeted assassination of businesspeople and community leaders in Punjab, revealed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe amid deteriorating ties between India and Canada.

He was declared a designated terrorist in 2020. Nijjar held Khalistani referendums on a number of occasions, and the last one was on September 10.

The NIA and the Special Cell have mentioned him in a few charge sheets which they recently filed in various courts.

The NIA has alleged in its charge sheet that he was making efforts to form terrorist groups in Punjab for target killings, and the Special Cell charge sheet has revealed that Nijjar was in touch with the members of the Neeraj Bawana gang.

In June within a week, two deaths of Khalistani operatives were reported. Avtar Singh Khanda died in the UK, and Nijjar was was gunned down in the parking lot of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey City, British Columbia after evening prayers on June 18 this year.

These two deaths shook the entire network of Khalistani terrorist groups.

Also Read:Canadian diplomat expelled by India citing interference concerns

The NIA charge-sheeted Nijjar along with others in several cases, including a case pertaining to conspiracy to attack a Hindu priest Kamaldeep Sharma in village Bharsinghpur, and other violence cases in Phillaur, Jalandhar in Punjab.

The NIA had also declared a reward of Rs ten lakh on Nijjar in this matter. In March, the NIA had said that they attached the property of Nijjar.

In December 2022, the NIA charge-sheeted four Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) Operatives, including Nijjar in connection with the target killing of Dera Sacha Sauda follower Manohar Lal.

Nijjar fled to Canada in 1997 on a fake passport. Initially, his refugee claim was rejected. Later on, he married a Canadian woman and became a permanent citizen of Canada.

In 2016 and 2015 Look Out Circular (LOC) and a Red Corner Notice (RCN) were also issued against the Nijjar.

In 2018, the then Punjab Chief Minister gave a list of wanted persons, including the name of Nijjar to the Canadian government. Later, in 2022, Nijjar's extradition was sought by the Punjab Police.

Both the Special Cell and the NIA have mentioned in their charge sheet that Nijjar was helping Indian gangsters, including the Neeraj Bawana gang.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in an emergency statement made in Parliament, said on Monday that Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between Indian government agents and the murder of KTF chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia in June.

The startling accusation was followed by the Canadian foreign minister Melanie Joly, who informed that they had expelled a top Indian diplomat Pavan Kumar Rai over the incident.

Also Read:Relations rocky as Canadian PM suspects India in killing of Khalistani terrorist

She even said that she has conveyed her concerns to Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar over the development.

India on Tuesday rejected claims by the Canada government, terming them as "absurd and motivated".

"We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister. Allegations of the Government of India's involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated", the external affairs ministry said in a statement.

In a tit-for-tat response to Canada’s action, New Delhi on Tuesday expelled a senior Canadian diplomat based here, who has been asked to leave within the next five days.

The High Commissioner of Canada to India (Cameron Mackay) received the summons on Tuesday during which the Government of India conveyed its decision to expel a senior Canadian diplomat currently stationed in the country.

The concerned diplomat has been officially instructed to depart from India within the next five days, a statement issued by the external affairs ministry said.

During his meeting with Trudeau on the sidelines of the G20 Summit earlier this month, PM Modi had conveyed India's strong concerns about continuing anti-India activities by extremist elements in Canada.

PM Modi had told his Canadian counterpart that these elements were promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats and damaging diplomatic premises as well as threatening the Indian community there and also their places of worship.

Despite New Delhi registering strong protests, an anti-India campaign has continued in Canada with pro-Khalistani graffiti and posters targeting Indian diplomats and temples across the country.

Incidents of Khalistani elements protesting outside the Indian consulate in Toronto displaying "Kill India" posters, had led to External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar saying that Canada was apparently allowing these protests driven by votebank politics.

A pro-Khalistani outfit has also called for a 'shutdown' of Indian consulates in Canada, saying that it will hold peaceful protests beginning next week after Trudeau accused New Delhi of involvement in the killing of Nijjar.

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TAGS:World newsIndia NewsNIAHardeep Singh Nijjar
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