Canada expels top Indian diplomat as it investigates India’s possible link to Sikh activist’s murder

Canada expelled a top Indian diplomat Monday as it investigates what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called credible allegations that India’s government may have had links to the assassination in Canada of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, news agencies reported.

Nijjar, a strong supporter of an independent Sikh homeland known as Khalistan, was gunned down on 18 June this year outside a Sikh cultural center in Surrey, British Columbia. The Khalistan movement is banned in India.

“If proven true this would be a great violation of our sovereignty and of the most basic rule of how countries deal with each other,” said Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly.

“As a consequence we have expelled a top Indian diplomat.”

Trudeau told Canadian Parliament that he brought up the slaying with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G-20 last week, that he told Modi that any Indian government involvement would be unacceptable and that he asked for cooperation in the investigation, AP news agency reported.

“Over the past number of weeks Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar,” Trudeau said.

“Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” he said.

Trudeau further said he knows there are some members of the Indo-Canadian community who feel angry or frightened, and he called for calm.

The Indian Embassy in Ottawa did not immediately answer phone calls from the news agency seeking comment.