‘Canada’s internal issue’: India after three arrests for murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar

Calling the preliminary investigation results into the killing of Khalistan separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar an “internal matter” of Canada, India on Saturday asked for “specific and relevant evidence” regarding any alleged involvement of the Indian government.

Canadian authorities have arrested three Indian nationals in connection with Nijjar’s murder.

In a statement, Indian High Commissioner to Canada Sanjay Kumar Verma said India hopes to receive regular updates from concerned Canadian authorities on the arrested Indian nationals in the case.

“We have been informed by Canadian officials about the arrest of three Indian nationals residing in Canada in connection with the shooting of Canadian national Hardeep Singh Nijjar. We hope to receive regular updates from the concerned Canadian authorities regarding the arrested Indian nationals,” he said.

Nijjar, who was designated a terrorist by India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2020, was killed outside a Gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, in June last year.

Verma said the arrests in the case are the “result of investigations conducted by the relevant Canadian law enforcement agencies,” saying the “matter is internal to Canada and therefore we have no comment to make in this regard.”

“As stated time and again, it is not the policy of the Indian government to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. We are always ready to work with partner countries in solving crimes, provided specific and relevant evidence is shared with us,” he added.

‘Canada’s Internal Politics’

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Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also said that what is happening in Canada following Nijjar’s killing is largely due to their internal politics and has nothing to do with India.

Jaishankar said this while replying to a question about why Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is criticizing India.

“India’s global image is now much higher than ever before… Canada is an exception. You see the various heads of the country praising Bharat and his Prime Minister,” the External Affairs Minister told the media in Bhubaneshwar.

He said a section of the pro-Khalistan population is using Canadian democracy, creating a lobby and has become a vote bank.

Three Indians arrested in Canada

Following the arrest of three Indian nationals, Canadian authorities said their investigation was not over and that “others” who played a role in the killing would also be arrested.

Karan Brar, 22, Kamalpreet Singh, 22, and Karanpreet Singh, 28, all Indian nationals living in Edmonton, have been charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said Friday they are investigating whether the Indian government was involved in the killing of Nijjar, a Canadian citizen. The three are believed to be members of an alleged assassination squad charged by the Indian government with the murder of 45-year-old Nijjar outside a gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18, 2023.

“The investigation does not end here. We are aware that there are others who played a role in this murder and we remain committed to identifying and arresting each and every one of them, said Chief Inspector Mandeep Mooker,” said the officer-in-charge of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT ).

Ties between India and Canada came under severe strain following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations in September last year about the “potential” involvement of Indian agents in Nijjar’s murder.

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    Sanstuti Nath

    With about five years of experience in the agency and reporting, Sanstuti

    first print: May 4, 2024 10:32 PM IST