Justin Trudeau expels India’s intelligence chief from his country

Justin Trudeau 1

The Canadian Prime Minister’s government suspects Narendra Modi’s nation of involvement in the assassination of a Sikh leader.

Ottawa. Canada said yesterday that it has information linking Indian government agents to the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in British Columbia last June, prompting it to expel the head of India’s foreign intelligence service from its territory.

Also read: Trudeau accuses India of being behind a murder in Canada and opens a diplomatic crisis

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told an emergency session of the parliamentary opposition that his government has “credible allegations” linking Indian agents to the death of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia.

The announcement marks a significant worsening of bilateral relations at a time when India is already unhappy that Canadian authorities are not cracking down on Sikh protesters who want their own independent homeland.

“The involvement of a foreign government in the murder of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” Trudeau said.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, was shot and killed outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18. Nijjar supported a Sikh homeland in the form of an independent Khalistani state in parts of northern India and part of Pakistan and was designated by India as a “terrorist” in July 2020, Indian newspaper The Tribune reported.

Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Jolie declared that the government had taken immediate action. “Today we expelled a senior Indian diplomat from Canada,” she said.

Without identifying the official, Jolie claimed that he was the head of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s foreign intelligence agency, in Canada.

“Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between Indian government agents” and Nijjar’s death, Trudeau added in the House of Commons.

Canada has expressed its deep concern to senior Indian government intelligence and security officials. At the G20, I conveyed this to Prime Minister Modi in very clear terms,” ​​he added.

Increases tension

New Delhi expressed last week that Modi had conveyed to Trudeau his serious concern about the protests in Canada against India.

Canada has the largest population of Sikhs outside their home state of Punjab in India, and the country has been the site of many protests that have riled the Asian nation.

Canada is home to one of the largest communities of Indian origin abroad, numbering approximately 1.4 million in population. About 770,000 people reported Sikhism as their religion in the 2021 census.

The two countries, which earlier this year said they could agree on the outlines of a trade deal by the end of 2023, have now frozen talks on the deal.