Friday, May 24

Canada Claims to Have Evidence Linking Indian Diplomats to Sikh Activist’s Killing, Media Reports Suggest

Canada has reportedly claimed to possess evidence linking Indian diplomats to the killing of a Sikh activist. While details about this evidence remain undisclosed, these allegations have further heightened tensions between Canada and India. This diplomatic row escalated after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly accused India of involvement in the activist’s murder, a claim that India vehemently denied.

As pressure increased on Canada to provide evidence of an extraterritorial assassination that occurred on its soil, media reports suggest that the Canadian government possesses intelligence connecting Indian officials and diplomats to the killing. The investigation into the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, which spanned several months, reportedly uncovered communications involving Indian officials, including diplomats stationed in Canada, according to a report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

 

Canada Claims to Have Evidence Linking Indian Diplomats to Sikh Activist's Killing.
Canada Claims to Have Evidence Linking Indian Diplomats to Sikh Activist’s Killing.

 

Multiple national security sources have alleged that Indian officials did not challenge these allegations during closed-door discussions with Canadian counterparts. It’s important to note that The Guardian has not independently verified the CBC’s reporting.

In recent weeks, top officials from Canada’s intelligence agency and national security and intelligence adviser have made trips to India with the aim of securing Delhi’s cooperation in the investigation into the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a prominent Sikh activist who was fatally shot in a parking lot in June. These developments from Canada’s national broadcaster come amid increasing domestic pressure to disclose more information about the “credible allegations” initially mentioned by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in parliament earlier in the week.

Trudeau, however, has not confirmed whether his government will share the evidence. Speaking at the United Nations in New York on Thursday, Trudeau emphasized that he did not intend to escalate tensions between the two nations and called on India to collaborate with Canadian authorities in uncovering the truth behind the assassination.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated, “We are not looking to provoke or cause problems, but we are unequivocal about the rule of law and unequivocal about protecting Canadians and standing up for our values. That is why we call upon the government of India to work with us to establish processes, to uncover the truth of the matter and allow justice and accountability to be served.” He emphasized the importance of adhering to the rule of law and safeguarding Canadian interests and values.

The top national security adviser in the United States, Jake Sullivan, expressed concern about the allegations and mentioned that officials were engaged in discussions with their Indian counterparts. Sullivan emphasized that there is no special exemption for such actions, regardless of the country involved, and that they would defend their fundamental principles while collaborating closely with allies like Canada in their law enforcement and diplomatic processes.

Furthermore, it was reported that some of the intelligence shared with Canada came from one of its allies, and members of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network raised the issue with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the recent G20 summit in New Delhi.

The India-Canada visa dispute continued to escalate, with India announcing the suspension of visa processing in Canada, affecting many travelers, including the diaspora population. Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson for India’s foreign ministry, cited security threats to Indian consulates in Canada, disrupting their normal functioning and temporarily preventing visa applications from being processed. Canada’s deputy prime minister, Chrystia Freeland, emphasized that the issue was about Canadian safety and the rule of law, not geopolitics. Both countries have recently expelled top diplomats in a tit-for-tat response to the tensions.

Bagchi raised concerns about elements linked to organized crime, terrorists, secessionists, or extremists operating freely in Canada, with apparent political condoning. India updated its travel advisory for Canada, cautioning its citizens about “growing anti-India activities and politically condoned hate crimes” and advising them to exercise extreme caution. Canada, in turn, issued a travel advisory for its nationals in India, warning of a “threat of terrorist attack throughout the country.”

Additionally, both countries announced the suspension of trade talks worth billions of dollars, which had previously been close to conclusion, adding another layer of complexity to the dispute.


Also read: Tourists Caught in the Middle of India-Canada Visa Dispute

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