Canada killing adds to suspicions of Indian crackdown on Sikh separatists

4 days ago 28

Months earlier Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot dormant successful a carpark successful Canada, 3 different Indians associated with the Sikh separatist question had died connected overseas ungraded – successful circumstances deemed, astatine slightest by some, arsenic suspicious.

On Monday, Justin Trudeau alleged determination was “credible evidence” that the Indian authorities was down the assassination of Nijjar, an explosive accusation that torpedoed already frayed diplomatic relations betwixt India and Canada. India called the allegation “absurd” and some sides expelled elder diplomats successful response.

Yet immoderate had already connected Nijjar’s sidesplitting successful June to the deaths of different salient figures connected to the Khalistani separatist movement, which fights for the independency of the Indian authorities of Punjab, and has precocious seen a revival successful India.

The Indian authorities has successful caller months openly pursued and arrested Khalistani militants and sympathisers wrong its ain borders, with Sikh groups accusing the authorities of taking their crackdown connected dissent beyond Indian territory. Nijjar had been a designated violent by the Indian authorities since 2020 and was said to caput a militant group, the Khalistan Tiger Force.

The assassinations of 2 known Khalistani militants successful neighbouring Pakistan, successful January and May – some successful the metropolis of Lahore – had raised suspicion of India’s involvement. One of those killed was Harmeet Singh, accused of murders successful India and the grooming of Khalistani militants, and different was Paramjit Singh Panjwa.

Pakistan has antecedently accused India of carrying retired killings of militants connected their territory. Speaking aft Trudeau’s allegations, Pakistan’s erstwhile overseas curate Bilawal Bhutto Zardari called India a “rogue Hindutva [Hindu nationalist] violent state”.

Khalistani groups successful the UK had besides accused India of playing a relation successful the decease of Avtar Singh Khanda, who was based successful Birmingham and had been progressive successful pro-Khalistani protests, including astatine the Indian High commission. Khanda had cancer, but his supporters said helium was poisoned to death. British constabulary are not treating his decease arsenic suspicious.

The Khalistani question gained traction successful Punjab during the 1980s and 1990s and thousands of Punjabi Sikhs were killed successful a crackdown connected the separatist insurgency. Many thousands much moved abroad, to places specified arsenic the UK and Canada, and the Khalistani ideology remained prevalent among the diaspora.

The question for an autarkic Punjab has precocious experienced a revival successful the northbound Indian state, with the emergence of a fashionable separatist person Amritpal Singh who was blamed for assorted bombings and outbreaks of violence. The government’s pursuit of Singh successful March, which yet led to his arrest, saw thousands of constabulary deployed and net unopen down crossed the state.

However, the strongest enactment for the Khalistani question is among the diaspora, peculiarly successful countries with ample Sikh migrant communities specified arsenic Canada, Australia, the UK and the US, wherever sympathy for the Sikh separatist question has been growing, peculiarly online.

In March, the Indian consulate successful London was stormed and vandalised by pro-Khalistani protesters, prompting beardown condemnation from the Indian government, and the Indian consulate successful San Francisco was besides attacked by pro-Khalistan protesters.

Recently, successful places crossed Canada, posters appeared glorifying Talwinder Parmar, a Sikh militant accused of being the mastermind of the bombing of an Air India formation successful 1985.

In response, the Indian authorities has demanded that overseas governments measurement up surveillance connected pro-Khalistani groups and activists operating connected their soil.

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