In response to Trudeau’s accusations that he linked India to the death of a prominent Sikh leader, India expelled a Canadian diplomat. The day before, Canada had done the same with its Indian counterpart.
The Indian Government expelled a Canadian diplomat from the country on Tuesday, following statements by Justin Trudeau. Canada’s Prime Minister said the country’s authorities have reason to link Indian agents to the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a senior Sikh leader, on Canadian soil. The identity of the diplomat has not been revealed, but the Indian press claims that he is the head of Canada’s secret services in New Delhi, according to Reuters.
Trudeau accuses India of involvement in assassination of Sikh leader in Canada
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in New Delhi had already condemned Trudeau’s statements, considered “absurd and politically motivated,” according to the Washington Post. In a statement cited by Reuters, the same ministry states that this decision reflects the “growing concern over the interference of Canadian diplomats in internal affairs and their involvement in anti-India activities.”
At the epicenter of the case is the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a leader of the Sikh community in Canada and a supporter of the Khalistan separatist movement. Nijjar was accused of terrorism by Indian identities for advocating the creation of an independent state for the Sikh people. In June, he was shot dead in front of the religious temple he presided over in British Columbia, Canada.
After accusing the Indian government of being involved in the death of the separatist leader, the Prime Minister of Canada assured that “any involvement of a foreign government in the death of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty.” “In the strongest possible terms, I continue to appeal to the government of India to cooperate with Canada and get to the truth on this issue,” he added in a speech to the lower house of Canada’s parliament.
On Monday, the Canadian government had already announced the expulsion of an Indian diplomat from the country.