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Canada arrests three over killing of Sikh activist

Superintendent Mandeep Mooker, Officer-in-Charge of IHIT listens to questions from media

Superintendent Mandeep Mooker, Officer-in-Cost of IHIT listens to questions from media throughout a information convention for an replace on the Hardeep Singh Nijjar murder investigation from June 18, 2023, in Surrey, B.C., Friday, Could 3, 2024. (Ethan Cairns/The Canadian Press through AP)

Vancouver, Canada — Canadian police on Friday arrested three males over the killing final 12 months in Vancouver of a Sikh separatist, whose dying has been linked to the Indian authorities.

The homicide of Hardeep Singh Nijjar plunged Canada and India right into a critical diplomatic disaster final fall after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recommended Indian authorities involvement within the murder.

READ: Canada hyperlinks India to slaying of Sikh exile, expels intel chief

India dismissed the allegations as “absurd” and responded furiously, briefly curbing visas for Canadians and forcing Ottawa to withdraw diplomats.

Three Indian nationals, two aged 22 and one aged 28, had been arrested Friday and charged with first diploma homicide and conspiracy fees. They’re accused of being the shooter, driver and lookout on the day Nijjar was killed.

They had been arrested by police in Edmonton, within the neighboring province of Alberta, the place they reside, and are being held pending additional proceedings.

READ: India rejects Canada’s suspicions on function in Sikh chief’s homicide

All had been in Canada for between three and 5 years, police stated at a information convention.

“This investigation doesn’t finish right here. We’re conscious that others could have performed a job on this murder,” stated Mandeep Mooker of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s murder investigations staff.

‘Credible allegations’ 

Nijjar — who immigrated to Canada in 1997 and have become a citizen in 2015 — advocated for a separate Sikh state, often known as Khalistan, carved out of India.

He was wished by Indian authorities for alleged terrorism and conspiracy to commit homicide.

On June 18, 2023, he was shot lifeless by masked assailants within the parking zone of the Sikh temple he led in suburban Vancouver.

Trudeau introduced a number of months later that Canada had “credible allegations” linking Indian intelligence to the killing and expelled an Indian official, spurring the diplomatic tit-for-tat with New Delhi.

Mooker stated Canadian police are nonetheless investigating the ties of the suspects, “if any, to the Indian authorities.”

“It’s a little bit of a sigh of reduction that the investigation is transferring ahead,” Moninder Singh, a detailed good friend of Nijjar, advised AFP.

“It’s finally India who’s accountable and hiring people to assassinate Sikh leaders in international international locations,” stated Singh, spokesperson for the British Columbia Council of Gurdwaras.

In November, the US Justice Division charged an Indian citizen residing within the Czech Republic with allegedly plotting an analogous assassination try on American soil.

Prosecutors stated in unsealed courtroom paperwork that an Indian authorities official was additionally concerned within the planning.

The shock allegations got here after US President Joe Biden hosted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a uncommon state go to, as Washington seeks nearer ties with India in opposition to China’s rising affect.

US intelligence companies have assessed that the plot on American soil was accredited by India’s high spy official on the time, Samant Goel, The Washington Put up reported this week.

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Canada is house to some 770,000 Sikhs, who make up about two p.c of the nation’s inhabitants, with a vocal minority calling for an unbiased state of Khalistan.



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