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Sep 19 – India dismissed as “absurd and motivated” Canada’s claim that it was engaged in the killing of a pro-Khalistan leader in Canada on Tuesday. Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, said that Canadian security agencies were actively investigating “credible allegations” of a “potential link” between the Indian government and the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, and he expelled an Indian diplomat.
Nijjar, the spiritual leader of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Sahib in Surrey, Canada, was assassinated in June of this year. He was the leader of the separatist group Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF). Nijjar, 46, was shot dead on the gurdwara grounds by two unidentified males.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement, “We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister.”
“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,” the MEA statement said.
The MEA responded to Trudeau’s remarks that Canada is a “rule-of-law country,” saying, “We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to the rule of law.”
“Such unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The inaction of the Canadian Government on this matter has been a long-standing and continuing concern.”
It also slammed Trudeau and other politicians, adding, “That Canadian political figures have openly expressed sympathy for such elements remains a matter of deep concern.”
“The space given in Canada to a range of illegal activities including murders, human trafficking and organised crime is not new. We reject any attempts to connect Government of India to such developments,” it said.
It “urged” the Government of Canada to take “prompt and effective legal action against all anti-India elements operating from their soil”.
Earlier in the day, Trudeau told the Canadian parliament that he had discussed the problem with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the recent G20 summit.