After the Canadian prime minister acknowledged that the Indian government was behind the assassination of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Vancouver about three months ago, leading pro-Khalistan Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) called on Justin Trudeau to immediately expel India’s High Commissioner to Canada Sanjay Verma from Canada.
Pro-Khalistan Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a fervent advocate for an independent Sikh country known as Khalistan and the Surrey, British Columbia, leader of Sikhs For Justice and the Khalistan Referendum movement, was shot and killed on June 18 in front of a Sikh cultural centre.
In a shocking statement before the parliament on Monday evening, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada’s national security agencies are investigating “credible allegations” that the “agents of the government of India” were involved in the killing of prominent Canadian Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Vancouver in June.
“Over the past number of weeks, Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar,” Trudeau said, addressing the House of Commons about an “extremely serious matter,” after informing the opposition party leaders.
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, general counsel for the SFJ and an attorney in New York, claimed that Trudeau’s declaration in front of parliament had proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that India was behind the murder of Nijjar, the head of the Canadian Chapter of the Khalistan Referendum and a close friend of Pannun. According to Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, removing the head of RAW from the Indian High Commission in Canada was insufficient and that the High Commissioner for India should also be dismissed.
Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc said Canada’s national security advisor and the head of Canada’s spy service have travelled to India to meet their counterparts and to confront the Indian intelligence agencies with the allegations.
He called it an active homicide investigation led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Relations between Canada and India have been tense in recent months. Canada just cancelled a trade mission to India that was planned for the fall.
Opposition Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre said if the allegations are true they represent ”an outrageous affront to our sovereignty.”
Opposition New Democrat leader Jagmeet Singh, who is himself Sikh, called it outrageous and shocking. Singh said he grew up hearing stories that challenging India’s record on human rights might prevent you from getting a visa to travel there.
“But to hear the prime minister of Canada corroborate a potential link between a murder of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil by a foreign government is something I could never have imagined,” Singh said.
On 10th of September, more than 135,000 Canadian Sikhs cast their votes in the Khalistan Referendum at Surrey BC’s Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara where Nijjar was assassinated. Thousands of local Sikhs made queues to cast their votes carrying posters of Sikh martyrs and chanting devotional and political slogans in support of Khalistan. The Gurdwara was plastered with wall-sized posters of Hardeep Singh Nijjar who was also president at the same Gurdwara until he was killed.
Sikhs For Justice General Counsel Gurpatwant Singh Pannun told the huge crowd at the end of the voting that the Indian govt has yet again declared war on Sikhs by assassinating Hardeep Singh Nijjar. He vowed that Sikhs will avenge the brutal killing of Nijjar who was a peaceful activist and believed in democratic means.
He had said: “Indian diplomats in Canada, Indian intelligence agencies, Ajit Doval, Amit Shah and Narendra Modi are directly involved in the killing of Hardeep Nijjar. India’s political death is a writing on the wall. Sikhs will stop at nothing less than the Balkanisation of India.”