Trudeau Accuses India Of Assassination

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the country’s Parliament that he has credible intelligence pointing to a political assassination involving Narendra Modi’s Indian government. Trudeau told the House of Commons that a foreign government conspiring to murder a Canadian citizen was “an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty.”

The murder took place in July in a Vancouver suburb. A 45-year-old advocate for a separate state for followers of the Sikh faith was shot and killed outside a Sikh temple in Surrey. India designated Hardeep Singh Nijjar a “terrorist” in 2020 thanks to his involvement with the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) Sikh separatist group. The Indian government also believes that Nijjar was “actively involved in operationalizing, networking, training, and financing” the militant group Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), which New Delhi describes as a terrorist organization.

Trudeau’s comments mark a new low in diplomatic relations between the two countries, which were already soured during the recent G20 summit. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he spoke to Trudeau and objected to anti-India protests that had broken out in Canada following Mr. Nijjar’s death.

Narendra Modi reportedly expressed the situation’s sensitivity to Trudeau and told him that Sikh separatists were responsible for the assassination of the country’s former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. Modi condemned the presence of a parade float depicting the assassination in June, saying it amounted to a glorification of ethnic violence.

Gandhi was murdered in 1984 after she ordered the storming of a holy temple to flush out Sikh separatists. The Prime Minister was killed by her own bodyguards in retaliation.

Just three months after the two countries agreed on a trade deal after more than a decade of negotiation, Canada has pulled the plug, and tensions continue to rise. The Indian government has long criticized Canada, home to the largest Sikh population outside India, for the prevalence of anti-India protests there. Trudeau said he would continue to support freedom of speech and expression for Canada’s Sikh citizens.