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Business News/ News / World/  Canada arrests fourth Indian national in killing of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar
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Canada arrests fourth Indian national in killing of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar

Amandeep Singh, a fourth Indian national, was arrested and charged in the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Vancouver. The incident caused a diplomatic dispute between Canada and India, with allegations linking Indian intelligence to the ‘assassination’.

India said Thursday that Canada has informed it about the arrest of three Indian men who have been charged with the murder of a Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia last year, but insisted that no relevant information or specific evidence about Delhi’s involvement has been shared by the Canadian authorities till date. (Bloomberg)Premium
India said Thursday that Canada has informed it about the arrest of three Indian men who have been charged with the murder of a Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia last year, but insisted that no relevant information or specific evidence about Delhi’s involvement has been shared by the Canadian authorities till date. (Bloomberg)

Canadian authorities have charged a fourth Indian national in connection with the 2023 killing of a separatist Sikh leader, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, in Vancouver, as per an AFP report.

Amandeep Singh, aged 22, who was already under detention for unrelated gun charges, now faces charges of "first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder" in Nijjar's alleged "assassination", it added.

This follows the recent arrests of three other Indian nationals in connection with the same case.

Diplomatic Tensions

The incident has ignited diplomatic tensions between Ottawa and New Delhi after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau implied that Indian intelligence was involved in the alleged "assassination" plot.

Nijjar was fatally shot on June 18, 2023, by masked individuals in the parking lot of the Sikh temple he presided over in suburban Vancouver.

Nijjar was a Khalistani advocate demanding a separate Sikh state in India. He migrated to Canada in 1997 and obtained citizenship in 2015. Allegations against him included "terrorism" and conspiracy to commit murder, levelled by the Indian government. Nijjar, however, consistently denied it, the report added.

Canada is home to approximately 770,000 Sikhs, comprising around two percent of the nation's population. Within this community, there exists a vocal minority advocating for the establishment of Khalistan as an independent state.

International Ramifications

Trudeau has claimed Canada has "credible allegations" linking Indian intelligence to Nijjar's killing. This led to a sharp response from India, resulting in temporary visa restrictions for Canadians and the recall of diplomats.

In a related development, the US Justice Department has also charged an Indian citizen residing in the Czech Republic with plotting a similar assassination attempt on US soil. Court documents indicated the involvement of an Indian government official in the planning.

These developments occurred amid efforts by the United States to strengthen ties with India in response to China's expanding influence. Reports suggested that the plot on American soil had the purported approval of India's former top spy official, Samant Goel.

(With inputs from AFP)

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Published: 12 May 2024, 08:20 AM IST
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