Canada’s allegations against India based on Indian officials’ communications: Report

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Canada’s allegations against India based on Indian officials’ communications: Report

Toronto: Canada’s allegations of India’s involvement in the killing of a Sikh separatist in Surrey that sparked a diplomatic row between the two nations are based on both human and signals intelligence and inputs from an ally from Ottawa’s Five Eye intelligence network, a media report has said citing the Canadian government sources.

Tensions flared between India and Canada early this week following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s explosive allegations of the “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on his country’s soil on June 18 in British Columbia. India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020.

India angrily rejected the allegations as “absurd” and “motivated” and expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move to Ottawa’s expulsion of an Indian official over the case.

The Canadian government has amassed both human and signals intelligence in a months-long investigation of the Sikh man’s death that has inflamed relations with India, CBC News, a division of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, reported on Thursday quoting sources.

That intelligence includes communications involving Indian officials themselves, including Indian diplomats present in Canada, say Canadian government sources.

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The intelligence did not come solely from Canada. Some were provided by an unnamed ally in the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, the public broadcaster said.

Canada is part of a ‘Five Eyes’ network which is an intelligence alliance consisting of the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

The report said the diplomatic crisis unfolded progressively behind the scenes. Canadian officials went to India on several occasions seeking cooperation in the investigation of Nijjar’s death, the report claimed.

Canada’s National Security and Intelligence Adviser Jody Thomas was in India over four days in mid-August, then again for five days in September. That last visit overlapped with a tense meeting between Prime Minister Trudeau and Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, it said.

“Canadian sources say that when pressed behind closed doors, no Indian official has denied the bombshell allegation at the core of this case — that there is evidence to suggest Indian government’s involvement in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil,” it added.

Canada is weighing retaliation but has taken no decision yet, said government sources in Ottawa.

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