Sikh Leader Assassinated, Canada Blames India

( – Canada is currently in a row with the Indian government over claims that the latter had a hand in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh activist and separatist, on Canadian soil.

Despite strong anti-gun laws, Nijjar was gunned down by an unknown assailant as he stood outside a Sikh temple located in Surrey, British Columbia.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was quick to point out foreign agents – likely from India – were to blame for the attack against the Sikh leader and called the killing “an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty.” In an address to Parliament, the PM said that the government possessed “credible allegations” that connected “agents of the government of India” to the “killing of a Canadian citizen.”

Nijjar was a vocal proponent of the secession of the Sikh homeland into an independent state called Khalistan. India has made talk of Sikh separation illegal throughout the country, but many activists, Nijjar included, are active in countries like Canada and Britain.

The fact that Canada allows Sikh separatists to air their views in public has caused some tension between Canada and India – in the recent G20 Summit, India’s leader Narendra Modi spoke to Trudeau, expressing concern that Canada has been tolerating people who are considered traitors and terrorists by India.

The Sikh population in Canada has grown through the years, and now comprises 2% of the population. Many left their homeland due to the violence and discrimination they face in the region.

Responding to Trudeau’s claims, the Indian government released a statement that said the implication that its agents were somehow involved in Nijjar’s death was “absurd,” adding that Trudeau’s allegations were a red herring to distract from the fact that Canada “provides shelter” to “Khalistani terrorists and extremists” who are a constant threat to India’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

As a result of Nijjar’s death, Canada has expelled a top level Indian diplomat from the country, saying that he was the Indian head of intelligence for the region. In response, India also kicked out a high-ranking Canadian diplomat from its borders.

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