India hits back at Canada after PM Justin Trudeau revealed ‘credible’ links between Modi’s government and Sikh leader’s death | Englishheadline


Indian government officials have hit back at Justin Trudeau after the Canadian Prime Minister accused Narendra Modi’s government of involvement in the death of a Sikh leader in British Columbia.

Prime Minister Trudeau told an emergency session of the Canadian Parliament there was “credible” intelligence linking India to the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. 

Mr Nijjar was a prominent Sikh leader and supporter of Khalistan, which is the push for an independent Sikh nation in India’s Punjab region.

He was gunned down by two masked men outside a Sikh temple in July, and on Monday the Trudeau government expelled New Delhi’s intelligence chief in Ottawa in retaliation for alleged involvement in the death.

However, India’s foreign ministry has branded the allegations “absurd” and politically motivated.

“We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to rule of law,” the ministry said in a statement.

“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.”

India had declared Mr Nijjar a wanted terrorist and accused the Khalistan supporter of carrying out terrorist attacks in India – a charge he denied.

The foreign ministry on Tuesday also claimed Canada had given shelter to “Khalistani terrorists and extremists” who threaten India’s security.

“We urge the government of Canada to take prompt and effective legal action against all anti-India elements operating from their soil,” the statement said.

In his address to Parliament, Prime Minister Trudeau revealed that Canada’s security agencies had been investigating Mr Nijjar’s death and were “actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the government of India (and Mr Nijjar’s death)”.

“Canada has declared its deep concerns to the top intelligence and security officials of the Indian government,” the Prime Minister said in an emergency statement.

The Canadian leader also revealed he had raised the issue directly with Indian Prime Minister Modi.

“Last week at the G20 I brought them (Canada’s concerns) personally and directly to Prime Minister Modi in no uncertain terms,” he said.

“Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty.

“It is contrary to the fundamental rules by which free, open and democratic societies conduct themselves.”

Mr Trudeau also revealed he had raised the issue with US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Canada has the largest population of Sikhs outside of Punjab, India.

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