India expels Canadian diplomat in spat over alleged assassination of a Sikh activist

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Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an advocator of Sikh independency from India, was gunned down connected 18 June extracurricular a Sikh taste centre successful the Canadian state of British Columbia.

India dismissed allegations that its authorities was linked to the sidesplitting of a Sikh activistic successful Canada arsenic "absurd" connected Tuesday, expelling a elder Canadian diplomat and accusing Canada of interfering successful India's interior affairs.

It came a time aft Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described what helium called credible allegations that India was connected to the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an advocator of Sikh independency from India who was gunned down connected 18 June extracurricular a Sikh taste centre successful Surrey, British Columbia, and Canada expelled a apical Indian diplomat.

"Any engagement of a overseas authorities successful the sidesplitting of a Canadian national connected Canadian ungraded is an unacceptable usurpation of our sovereignty," Trudeau told Parliament Monday. "In the strongest imaginable terms, I proceed to impulse the authorities of India to cooperate with Canada to get to the bottommost of this matter."

The duelling expulsions travel arsenic relations betwixt Canada and India are tense. Trade talks person been derailed and Canada conscionable cancelled a commercialized ngo to India that was planned for the fall.

In its connection announcing the expulsion, India's Ministry of External Affairs wrote that "the determination reflects Government of India's increasing interest astatine the interference of Canadian diplomats successful our interior matters and their engagement successful anti-India activities."

Nijjar was organising an unofficial referendum successful India for an autarkic Sikh federation astatine the clip of his death. Indian authorities announced a currency reward past twelvemonth for accusation starring to Nijjar's arrest, accusing him of engagement successful an alleged onslaught connected a Hindu clergyman successful India.

India has repeatedly accused Canada of supporting the Sikh independence, oregon Khalistan, movement, which is banned successful India but has enactment successful countries similar Canada and the UK with sizable Sikh diaspora populations.

In March, the Modi authorities summoned the Canadian High Commissioner successful New Delhi to kick astir Sikh independency protests successful Canada. In 2020, India's overseas ministry besides summoned the apical diplomat implicit comments made by Trudeau astir an cultivation protestation question associated with the authorities of Punjab, wherever galore Sikhs live.

Canada has a Sikh colonisation of much than 770,000, oregon astir 2% of its full population.

Trudeau told Parliament that helium brought up Nijjar's slaying with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi astatine the G20 gathering successful New Delhi past week. He said helium told Modi that immoderate Indian authorities engagement would beryllium unacceptable and that helium asked for practice successful the investigation.

India's overseas ministry dismissed the allegation arsenic "absurd and motivated."

"Such unsubstantiated allegations question to displacement the absorption from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who person been provided structure successful Canada and proceed to endanger India's sovereignty and territorial integrity," it wrote successful a connection issued earlier Tuesday.

At the G20 meeting, Modi expressed "strong concerns" implicit Canada's handling of the Punjabi independency question among the overseas Sikhs during a gathering with Trudeau astatine the G20, the connection added.

The connection called connected Canada to enactment with India connected what New Delhi said is simply a menace to the Canadian Indian diaspora and described the Sikh question arsenic "promoting secessionism and inciting violence" against Indian diplomats. Earlier this year, supporters of the Khalistan question vandalised Indian consulates successful London and San Francisco.

Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said Canada had expelled a apical Indian diplomat, whom she identified arsenic the caput of Indian quality successful Canada.

"If proven existent this would beryllium a large usurpation of our sovereignty and of the astir basal regularisation of however countries woody with each other," Joly said. "As a consequence, we person expelled a apical Indian diplomat."

Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc said Canada's nationalist information advisor and the caput of Canada's spy work person travelled to India to conscionable their counterparts and to face the Indian quality agencies with the allegations.

He called it an progressive homicide probe led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Joly said Trudeau besides raised the substance with US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

"We are profoundly acrophobic astir the allegations referenced by Prime Minister Trudeau," White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson. "We stay successful regular interaction with our Canadian partners. It is captious that Canada's probe proceed and the perpetrators beryllium brought to justice."

Joly besides said she would rise the contented with her peers successful the G7 connected Monday evening successful New York City up of the United Nations General Assembly.

Canadian absorption New Democrat person Jagmeet Singh, who is himself Sikh, called it outrageous and shocking. Singh said helium grew up proceeding stories that challenging India's grounds connected quality rights mightiness forestall you from getting a visa to question there.

"But to perceive the premier curate of Canada corroborate a imaginable nexus betwixt a execution of a Canadian national connected Canadian ungraded by a overseas authorities is thing I could ne'er person imagined," Singh said.

The World Sikh Organization of Canada called Nijjar an outspoken protagonist of Khalistan who "often led peaceful protests against the usurpation of quality rights actively taking spot successful India and successful enactment of Khalistan."

"Nijjar had publically spoken of the menace to his beingness for months and said that helium was targeted by Indian quality agencies," the connection said.

Nijjar's New York-based lawyer, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, has said Nijjar was warned by Canadian quality officials astir being targeted for assassination by "mercenaries" earlier helium was gunned down.

India's main absorption enactment issued a connection backing Modi's position. The Congress Party wrote that "the country's interests and concerns indispensable beryllium kept paramount astatine each times" and that the combat against coercion has to beryllium uncompromising, particularly erstwhile it threatens the nation's sovereignty.

Indian authorities person targeted Sikh separatism since the 1980s, erstwhile an equipped insurgency for an autarkic Sikh authorities took disconnected successful Punjab state.

In 1984, Indian forces stormed the Golden Temple successful the state's Amritsar metropolis to flush retired Sikh separatists, who had taken refuge there. The arguable cognition killed astir 400, according to authoritative figures, though Sikh groups estimation the toll to beryllium higher.

The premier curate who ordered the raid, Indira Gandhi, was killed afterwards by 2 of her bodyguards, who were Sikh. Her decease triggered a bid of anti-Sikh riots, successful which Hindu mobs went from location to location crossed bluish India, pulling Sikhs from their homes, hacking galore to decease and burning others alive.

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