Information about the murder of Sikh separatist leader in Canada


Toronto – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday that Canada is actively investigating credible allegations connecting Indian government agents to the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh separatist leader killed in British Columbia in June.

Canada is home to a significant Sikh community, and some Indian leaders believe that certain fringe groups within this community still sympathize with the idea of Khalistan, an independent Sikh state separate from India. An insurgency advocating for Khalistan in India during the 1990s resulted in the deaths of approximately 30,000 people.

Here is what is known about the investigation into the murder of the Sikh dissident:

  • On the evening of June 18, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) received a report of a shooting at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, a Sikh place of worship, in Surrey, British Columbia.
  • First responders found Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, inside a vehicle with multiple gunshot wounds. Sadly, Nijjar succumbed to his injuries on the scene, according to the RCMP.
  • The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) took charge of the case.
  • Investigators indicated that two suspects, described as “heavier set males wearing face coverings”, fled the scene on foot and likely had a waiting vehicle nearby. Later, authorities disclosed the existence of a third suspect. No arrests have been made thus far.
  • In July, investigators shared information with the public regarding the suspected route taken by the two suspects after the murder. The vehicle used by the suspects was identified as a Silver 2008 Toyota Camry.
  • Some local community members raised suspicions of potential foreign involvement in the assassination of the Sikh separatist leader.
  • Timothy Pierotti, an IHIT official, stated during the initial stages of the investigation that while there was much speculation about the motive for the homicide, their focus was on gathering facts and allowing the evidence to guide their inquiry.
  • Trudeau, on Monday, asserted that Canada possesses credible information linking Indian government agents to the murder. Although Trudeau did not directly accuse India of involvement, Foreign Minister Melanie Joly later used more cautious language, stating that if proven true, the allegations would be considered unacceptable.

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