Trudeau Affirms India’s Alleged Involvement in Canadian Sikh Leader’s Death

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Despite robust denials from New Delhi, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues to affirm the intelligence suggesting India’s involvement in the demise of a Canadian citizen. Trudeau has urged the Indian government to take the matter with absolute seriousness, without veering towards provocation or escalation.

During a conversation on Tuesday, Trudeau refrained from commenting on whether India is cooperating, suggesting that the Indian government be allowed to speak for itself.

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The Canadian Intelligence agencies have been investigating accusations that India’s government agents might have played a part in the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a well-known Sikh leader in Canada, which occurred in June. Following the incident, Pavan Kumar Rai, a key Indian diplomat and the head of Canadian operations for the Research and Analysis Wing, India’s foreign intelligence agency, was subsequently expelled from Canada.

Contradicting Canada’s claims, the Indian government promptly denied any involvement in the act of violence on Canadian soil. They also announced their intention to reciprocally expel a senior Canadian diplomat who, they claim, interfered in their internal affairs. Citing the absurdity and motivation behind the allegations, India squelched any talks of its involvement in violence on Canadian grounds and urged Canada to take action against anti-India elements operating from their soil.

In response to further inquiries, Trudeau stated that officials had been diligently working with intelligence agencies since summer to understand the incident better. He also pointed out that Canadians had the right to know about the situation after discussing it with allies and India on the sidelines of the G20.

Nijjar’s untimely death – killed by masked gunmen in the parking lot of his gurdwara in Surrey, B.C. – stirred the Sikh community leaders to assert the government of India’s involvement. However, investigators have yet to make arrests or name a motive related to his assassination.

Outside India, Canada holds the largest Sikh community worldwide. Sikh community leaders appreciate Canada corroborating suspicions of India’s involvement in Nijjar’s death but emphasize the need for further investigation. They argue for immediate protection for Sikhs in Canada who are threatened and seek cooperation from India in the investigation.

As the case continues to unfold, it has stoked issues of foreign interference and tensions with India. Different political parties have also expressed their views on the implications of the allegations with some demanding that India be included in the public inquiry. They insist that interference in any form needs to be thoroughly investigated.

The news has also been a hard pill to swallow for ministers, particularly those with Indian ties and large diaspora communities in their ridings. Trudeau’s decision to make such grave allegations shocked many — even those within the security community — but the belief that India may have been involved in Nijjar’s demise remains plausible.

Despite India’s strategic and economic importance, allied countries have started issuing statements encouraging a comprehensive investigation. The prime minister would not have made these allegations publicly without solid evidence and robust intelligence proceedings in place. Similar sentiments were echoed in a comment by the U.S. State Department to CTV News. These critical, international developments insinuate a complicated diplomatic dance highlighted by the volatile nature of global relations.