The expulsion of a high-ranking Indian diplomat by Canada has drawn global attention to the case of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a prominent Sikh leader. Nijjar met a tragic end when he was gunned down on June 18th outside a Sikh cultural center in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. This incident has strained relations between the two countries and raised suspicions about the possible involvement of Indian government agents in Nijjar’s killing.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has publicly alluded to “credible allegations of a potential link” between the Indian government and the assassination, emphasizing that any foreign government’s role in the murder of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil constitutes an unacceptable violation of Canada’s sovereignty.
“India rejects allegations by Canada,” MEA issues 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… pic.twitter.com/RmH8eFDinR
— ANI (@ANI) September 19, 2023
Canada’s investigation and international collaboration: Trudeau disclosed that his government has been working closely with its international allies to investigate the case. The expulsion of the Indian diplomat comes at a time when tensions between Canada and India have been steadily rising due to increased pro-Khalistan activities within Canada’s borders.
Who Was Hardeep Singh Nijjar?
Early Life and Associations: Hardeep Singh Nijjar, associated with the banned Indian separatist group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), held a prominent position within the organization, serving as the second-ranking figure after Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. Originally from the Bharsingh Pura village in Jalandhar, according to Punjab Police reports, Nijjar relocated to Canada in 1996.
Transition to Canada: In Canada, Nijjar initially worked as a plumber, but his wealth increased significantly recently due to his active involvement in Sikh activities.
Involvement in Terrorism: Nijjar’s involvement in terrorism began with his membership in the Babbar Khalsa International, led by Jagtar Singh Tara. He later established his group, the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF). His role in identifying, connecting, training, and funding cells in India resulted in over ten FIRs being lodged against him.
Notable Crimes: In 2014, Nijjar masterminded the assassination of self-proclaimed spiritual leader Baba Bhaniara. The following year, in 2015, he conducted a training camp in Canada, where he instructed Mandeep Singh Dhaliwal, who was subsequently sent to Punjab with a mission to target Shiv Sena leaders. Mandeep was arrested in June 2016.
Recent Activities: In November 2020, Nijjar joined forces with fellow gangster Arsh Dalla, also residing abroad. Together, they became involved in the murder of Manohar Lal, a follower of the Dera Sacha Sauda, which occurred at Lal’s office in Bhagta Bhai Ka, Bathinda, in 2021.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s life and actions show a complicated mix of support for Khalistani ideals, involvement in terrorism, and international mysteries. These factors continue to create difficulties in the relationship between India and Canada. The details surrounding his death are a topic of debate, and both countries are closely monitoring the ongoing investigation.