India Expels Canada Diplomat Over Murder Row

Tuesday, September 19, 2023 | Tag Cloud

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

NEW DELHI (Worthy News) – India has expelled a senior Canadian diplomat after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested Delhi may have been involved in the murder of a Sikh separatist leader.

Earlier, Canada’s foreign minister announced an Indian diplomat was being expelled over the alleged killing.

The escalating row centers on the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen shot dead outside a Sikh temple on June 18 in Canada’s westernmost province of British Columbia.

Trudeau said Canadian intelligence was pursuing “credible allegations” of a link between his death and the Indian state.

However, India firmly rejected Trudeau’s allegations, calling them “absurd” and politically motivated. It added that Canada had long provided shelter to “Khalistani terrorists and extremists” who threaten India’s security.

Nijjar had publicly campaigned for Khalistan – the creation of an independent Sikh homeland in the Punjab region of India

The standoff comes as in Britain, long the colonial power in India, Sikh organizations have expressed outrage that the government has failed to ask that a prominent pro-Khalistan and Sikh rights activist be set free.


They recalled that even a United Nations working group called for the immediate release of the activist, Jagtar Johal, from Dumbarton.

Johal has been held in an Indian prison for more than six years without trial, accused of extremist activities, activists say. He says he has been “tortured and forced to sign a confession.”

Human rights group Reprieve claims it has evidence that his arrest came while he was in India to get married after a tip-off from British intelligence agencies.

Last month, the British government announced new funding to respond to “pro-Khalistan extremism.”

Even prominent British Sikhs opposed to the Khalistan movement, who may have faced intimidation because of their stance, say there is little evidence that the activism among Sikhs strays into “extremism.”

They argue that the Indian government’s focus “on suppressing Khalistan support” has been counterproductive and is leading young Sikhs in an otherwise peaceful community to explore a movement that had been declining.

Sikhs are among several minorities reporting discrimination in Hindu-majority India, where devoted Christians also face attacks and a crackdown by Hindu extremists and authorities in several areas.

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