A Khalistani organization has issued a call to its members to stage protests outside Indian diplomatic missions in major Canadian cities on Monday. This follows Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent assertion of a “potential link” between New Delhi and the murder of a Khalistani terrorist in British Columbia.
Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested that Canada was investigating “credible allegations” of potential links between Indian government agents and the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Khalistani terrorist who was shot dead outside a gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18. This statement has led to tensions between Canada and India, resulting in the expulsion of diplomats from both nations and India suspending visas for Canadians.
Jatinder Singh Grewal, a director for Sikh for Justice in Canada, announced that his organization would lead demonstrations outside Indian embassies and consulates in Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver to raise awareness about Nijjar’s killing and demand the expulsion of the Indian ambassador from Canada.
India has denied any involvement in the killing and termed the allegations as “absurd.” Nijjar, who left Punjab and became a Canadian citizen, was designated a “terrorist” by India in July 2020.
The Canadian government has reportedly conducted a lengthy investigation into Nijjar’s murder, gathering human and signals intelligence. Some of the information was allegedly provided by an unidentified ally in the Five Eyes alliance.
Canada has a significant Sikh population, with about 770,000 Sikhs, the largest Sikh community outside of India. The country has seen various demonstrations related to Sikh issues, which have occasionally strained relations with India. Sikhs constitute a small percentage of India’s overall population but form the majority in the state of Punjab, where the religion originated 500 years ago.