PM Trudeau Accuses Indian Government of killing of Harjit Singh Nijjar in Canada, Expels Top Indian Diplomat
Harjit Singh Nijjar was fatally shot in the parking lot of his gurdwara in Surrey, B.C., on June 18, 2023.
Canada has taken the extraordinary step of expelling an Indian diplomat, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is urgently pressing the Indian government for cooperation in the wake of what Trudeau has described as “credible” intelligence tying government agents to the tragic shooting of a British Columbia Sikh leader.
Harjit Singh Nijjar was fatally shot in the parking lot of his gurdwara in Surrey, B.C., on June 18, 2023. While Sikh community leaders in Canada had long asserted the involvement of the Indian government, local law enforcement consistently stated they lacked concrete evidence to support these claims.
However, in a solemn address delivered to the House of Commons on Monday, Trudeau affirmed the credibility of these allegations. “Over recent weeks, Canadian security agencies have diligently pursued credible leads suggesting a potential connection between agents of the Indian government and the murder of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar,” he declared.
“Any foreign government’s involvement in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil constitutes an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty. It runs counter to the fundamental principles upon which free, open, and democratic societies are built.”
Trudeau further disclosed that he had raised this matter with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to New Delhi last week and was demanding prompt action. He underscored the importance of international cooperation, stating, “As expected, we have been in close coordination with our allies on this profoundly serious issue. I continue to implore the Government of India to collaborate with Canada in uncovering the truth behind this matter.”
Tensions between Canada and India have been escalating for several months. In recent weeks, Canada suspended trade negotiations with India and canceled a scheduled trade mission to the country for this autumn.
Although Trudeau had a 16-minute discussion with Modi at the conclusion of the G20 summit on September 10, arranging the meeting proved more challenging than anticipated, as India only confirmed its participation at the eleventh hour.
Following Trudeau’s remarks, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, a Sikh himself, delivered an impassioned statement in the House of Commons. He expressed his shock at the revelation, stating, “What we’ve just learned today in the House is something that shocks the safety and security that so many Canadians rely on. It is outrageous, shocking, and it will have profound and devastating repercussions.”
Singh, who briefly addressed the House in Punjabi, shared personal experiences of how concerns about human rights in India could deter Canadians of Sikh descent from obtaining visas to visit their homeland. He emphasized that Canada had been a safe haven for those seeking refuge from violence and persecution.
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre called for complete transparency in the investigation by the Indian government, stating, “The truth must come out. We must ascertain the identity of the assassin and those responsible for the assassination.”
These developments coincide with the official commencement of a public inquiry into foreign interference in Canada led by a Quebec judge. Last spring, national security adviser Jody Thomas had identified India as one of the primary sources of foreign interference in Canada, a statement made just two weeks before Nijjar’s tragic death.
Parvasi Media Group