Published On: Thu, Nov 30th, 2023

Trudeau urges India to cooperate in Nijjar’s killing probe

New Delhi: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pressed the Indian government to collaborate with Canada in the investigation of the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh separatist leader who was killed in Canada in June.

Indian government needs to work with us to ensure that we’re getting to the bottom of this

Trudeau’s appeal comes after the US Justice Department charged an Indian national for allegedly plotting to kill another Sikh separatist leader based in New York, CBC News reported. Trudeau told reporters that the US indictment highlighted the seriousness of the issue.

“The news coming out of the United States further underscores what we’ve been talking about from the very beginning: which is India needs to take this seriously,” he said. He added, “The Indian government needs to work with us to ensure that we’re getting to the bottom of this. This is not something that anyone can take lightly,” according to CBC News report.

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly, who was in Brussels for a NATO meeting, also expressed her expectation of more cooperation and engagement from India, CBC News reported. She said, “Clearly, we expect more cooperation on their part. And more engagement on their part.” She refrained from commenting on the US criminal case.

The US Justice Department revealed the indictment against the Indian national two months after Trudeau accused India of being involved in the killing of Nijjar, a Khalistani terrorist, in Surrey, British Columbia. India had dismissed the allegation as “absurd and politically motivated.”

Earlier this week, the Indian High Commissioner in Canada, Sanjay Kumar Verma, said that India was only asking for “specific and relevant” evidence in the killing of Nijjar, who was designated as a terrorist by India, so that it could assist Canada in concluding the investigation. In an interview with Canadian journalist Tahir Gora at TAG TV Toronto, he said, “India is only asking for specific and relevant information so that we can help you. We can help the Canadian investigators to reach their conclusion, to the extent that it will be viable for them to go for the legal action…I will urge my Canadian friends and colleagues. I can assure them that we will certainly look into them.”

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