Canada's "political compulsion" to hold India accountable for the Sikh murders: New Delhi

Mohamed Shalaby - | Mix

The foreign minister of New Delhi stated that Canada's inquiry into claims that India was complicit in the murder of a Sikh separatist in Vancouver last year is a "political compulsion" following the arrest of three Indian nationals in connection with the incident.

India fiercely denied the accusations, calling them "absurd," temporarily stopping the visa application process and compelling Canada to drastically scale back its diplomatic presence there.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar was quoted by the Press Trust of India news agency on Saturday as saying, "It is their political compulsion in Canada to blame India."

A separatist insurrection in the 1980s that sought to establish Khalistan, a nation for Sikhs, claimed thousands of lives before security forces put an end to it.

Within India, the movement has mostly fizzled out, but among the vociferous minority of the Sikh diaspora, which has its greatest community in Canada (about 770,000 people), the movement continues to have support.

According to Jaishankar, New Delhi has attempted to convince Ottawa that the Sikh separatists are "causing problems for them (Canada), for us and also for our relationship" and has therefore pressed Ottawa to deny them political legitimacy and visas.

In some situations, he continued, "police agencies also do not cooperate with us, nor do they share any evidence with us from Canada."

After moving to Canada in 1997, Nijjar became a citizen eighteen years later. Indian officials were looking for him on suspicion of terrorism and murderous plot.

All three of the captured Indian nationals were charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy; they were all in their twenties.

They were charged with carrying out his murder in June of last year as the shooter, driver, and lookout.

It was acknowledged by the Canadian authorities that "others may have played a role" in the murder.

An Indian citizen residing in the Czech Republic was accused by the US Justice Department in November of planning to carry out a similar assassination attempt on a different Sikh separatist leader on US territory.

Last week, a Washington Post investigation revealed that the plot involved Indian foreign intelligence agents; however, New Delhi refuted this accusation.

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Mohamed Shalaby
Mohamed Shalaby
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