Obtain free Canada updates
We’ll ship you a myFT Day by day Digest e-mail rounding up the most recent Canada information each morning.
Canada’s prime minister has mentioned there are “credible allegations” that India’s authorities was concerned within the deadly taking pictures of a outstanding Sikh chief in British Columbia, citing intelligence from nationwide safety companies.
Justin Trudeau on Monday instructed members of parliament that Canadian authorities have been investigating whether or not “brokers” of New Delhi have been behind the June killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was shot lifeless in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver with a big Sikh group.
“Canadian safety companies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a possible hyperlink between brokers of the federal government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen,” Trudeau mentioned. “Any involvement of a international authorities within the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty.”
A prime Indian diplomat was expelled from Canada on Monday, mentioned Mélanie Joly, the nation’s international minister. “We’ll defend Canadians always,” Joly instructed reporters. “We count on India’s full collaboration to resolve this.”
Trudeau instructed parliament he raised the allegations with India’s prime minister Narendra Modi throughout a gathering in New Delhi final week through the G20 summit.
India’s authorities on Tuesday dismissed Trudeau’s assertion within the Canadian parliament, in addition to Joly’s remarks, as “absurd and motivated”.
“Related allegations have been made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister, and have been fully rejected,” India’s Ministry of Exterior Affairs mentioned in a press release. “We’re a democratic polity with a robust dedication to rule of legislation.”
Relations between India and Canada have lengthy been strained. New Delhi in 2020 accused Ottawa of interference after Trudeau spoke up in favour of protesting farmers who compelled Modi to desert a deliberate overhaul of agriculture legislation. The 2 international locations paused talks on a deliberate free commerce settlement final week.
Canada is dwelling to just about 800,000 Sikhs, lots of whom reside in Surrey and Brampton, a suburb of Toronto. Some Sikh Canadians help the Khalistan independence movement, which seeks to create a sovereign state in India’s northern Punjab state.
India’s authorities condemns the motion and has lengthy accused Canada of harbouring Sikh separatists, whom it described on Tuesday as “Khalistani terrorists and extremists” who “proceed to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
“That Canadian political figures have overtly expressed sympathy for such parts stays a matter of deep concern,” New Delhi mentioned.
India’s authorities had accused Nijjar, a Sikh nationalist, of terrorism and posted bounties for his arrest. In 2016, Nijjar wrote a letter to Trudeau that known as New Delhi’s allegations baseless and mentioned his activism was “peaceable, democratic and guarded underneath the Canadian Constitution of Rights and Freedoms”.
The World Sikh Group of Canada known as Nijjar’s killing on the grounds of the gurdwara — a Sikh home of worship, the place he was president — an “assassination” and urged Ottawa to research India’s function. British Columbia police mentioned final month that it had recognized three suspects, although they weren’t recognized. No arrests have been made.
Jagmeet Singh, the chief of Canada’s New Democratic social gathering and a Sikh, mentioned on X, previously Twitter, that he would depart “no stone unturned within the pursuit of justice, together with holding Narendra Modi accountable”.
Professional-Khalistan protests in Canada and elsewhere this yr have infuriated Modi’s Hindu nationalist authorities, with supporters of the motion attacking New Delhi’s diplomatic missions in San Francisco and London.
In July, India summoned Canada’s excessive commissioner in New Delhi after protesters organised a “Khalistan freedom rally” in Toronto and accused Indian diplomats of involvement in Nijjar’s dying.