Canada arrests alleged Indian hit squad over killing of Sikh separatist

Canada had been pressing India to cooperate in its investigation. (Photo/Reuters)

Canadian police have charged three people with the murder of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in the province of British Columbia in June 2023, Canadian media has said, citing court documents.

CTV and Global News first reported the news of those arrested on Friday, with CTV saying all three were Indian nationals.

Nijjar, 45, was shot dead outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, a Vancouver suburb with a large Sikh population.

The news broke days after the White House expressed concern about the reported role of the Indian intelligence service in assassination plots in Canada and the United States.

The presence of Sikh separatist groups in Canada has long frustrated New Delhi. Nijjar was labelled a "terrorist" by India.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in September that Canadian authorities were pursuing allegations linking Indian government agents to the murder of Nijjar, a Canadian citizen. New Delhi rejected Trudeau's claim as "absurd."

Suspects kept under surveillance

Neither the RCMP nor the Indian mission in Ottawa were immediately available for comment.

Canada had been pressing India to cooperate in its investigation.

Last November, US authorities said an Indian government official had directed the plot in the attempted murder of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a Sikh separatist and dual citizen of the US and Canada.

Canadian Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc, in charge of Canadian law enforcement agencies, did not directly confirm the arrests but told reporters the probe into Nijjar's murder was "still an active police operation".

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) earlier cited a source saying investigators had identified the suspects in Canada some months ago and had been keeping them under tight surveillance.


Source: TRT