US, UK, Australia ‘deeply concerned’ over possible Indian role in Sikh leader’s murder

The world is reacting after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement citing suspicion towards India in Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s murder case.

The White House said it was “deeply concerned” about the allegations made by Trudeau.

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“We remain in regular contact with our Canadian partners. It is critical that Canada’s investigation proceed and the perpetrators be brought to justice,” White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said.

Then, in an official statement, spokesperson for Australian foreign minister Penny Wong said, “Australia is deeply concerned by these allegations and notes ongoing investigations into this matter. We are closely engaged with partners on developments. We have conveyed our concerns at senior levels to India.”

Foreign Secretary of the UK posted on X (formerly Twitter), “All countries should respect sovereignty and the rule of law. We are in regular contact with our Canadian partners about serious allegations raised in the Canadian Parliament. Important that Canada’s investigation runs its course and the perpetrators brought to justice.”

Pulling no punches, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave a harshly worded statement on Monday about the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, mentioning links between the killers and the Indian government.

The Canadian government has been probing into Nijjar’s murder case and the latest findings direct the fingers at the involvement of the Indian Government.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian Sikh leader, was shot outside a Sikh temple on 18 June in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. As per the police’ evaluation, it was a “targeted” attack.

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

“In the strongest possible terms, I continue to urge the government of India to cooperate with Canada to get to the bottom of this matter.”, he added

Similarly, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, also gave a staemnt in which she told the media that Indian diplomat, Pavan Kumar Rai, the head of RAW — India’s external intelligence agency — had been expelled over the case.

“We see this possible breach of sovereignty as completely unacceptable, and so that is also why we’re coming [out] with this information today,” she added.

On the other hand, in a tit-for-tat move, India ordered a senior Canadian diplomat to leave the country, keeping in view the “growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities”.

India’s foreign ministry has rejected all allegations, deeming them as “absurd”.

In a statement, the ministry said: “Allegations of Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated,”

“We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to rule of law.”

Previously, prime minister Trudeau shed light on the murder while in conversation with Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi at the G20 summit last week in New Dehli. He stated that the Indian role in the case would not be acceptable and that they expected the state’s cooperation in the investigation.

Who was Hardeep Singh Nijjar?

Nijjar moved to Canada in 1997, working first as a plumber and later establishing a plumbing business in Surrey, B.C. He also played a vital role in the Khalistan movement — a call for a separate Sikh nation in India.

Terming him a “terrorist”, the Indian government said he was wanted by the state for his alleged active involvement in the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) — an organisation deemed as a terrorist group by the country.

Nijjar’s friend and fellow Sikh nationalist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun spoke with Global News, stating that he was warned that “Indian intelligence agents had put a bounty on his head”.

Similarly, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service also warned Nijjar that they had information that he was, “under threat from professional assassins,”.