The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have said that the probe into the killing of Khalistani separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar is still “active and ongoing”. Nijjar, the chief of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), was killed in Surrey, British Columbia on June 18. India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020. The killing of Nijjar is being investigated by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) of RCMP.
Nijjar’s case has sparked a diplomatic row after Canadian PM Justin alleged a “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing. India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020.
“We are aware of reports being made regarding the homicide of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. As this remains an active and ongoing investigation, I’m unable to comment on specific evidence collected by IHIT,” IHIT spokesperson Sergeant Timothy Pierotti told PTI on Thursday.
Besides, the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Sahib in Surrey, British Columbia, where Nijjar was killed, has launched an investigation into how The Washington Post newspaper was able to view security camera footage of the June killing, PTI reported.
“We’ve been told by the temple that the video is not for the media, the public because it’s an ongoing investigation. That video won’t be released to anyone. It’s an ongoing investigation,” Gurkeerat Singh, a spokesman for the gurdwara, told Canada’s national news agency The Canadian Press.
India Today reported that even after three months of Nijjar’s killing, posters calling for the killing of Indian diplomats are still displayed outside a gurudwara. The development comes days after Canadian authorities asked pro-Khalistani supporters to remove the posters.
The posters were put up after Nijjar was killed by unidentified men on June 18. Posters inciting violence against Indian diplomats and missions had also surfaced online in July, not so long after Nijjar’s killing.
The poster reads ‘assassination wanted’ with three Indian diplomats’ photos. Nijjar’s face is also on the poster.
While the posters have been removed from one side, they are still up on the other side of the gurdwara’s main gate, India Today found out.
Canadian PM Trudeau has also claimed that such “credible allegations” were shared with India weeks ago. “Canada has shared the credible allegations that I talked about on Monday with India. We did that many weeks ago. We are there to work constructively with India. We hope that they engage with us so that we can get to the bottom of this very serious matter,” Trudeau said last week.
On its part, India has rejected Justin Trudeau’s allegation as “absurd”. Though Canada has claimed that it has evidence against Indian authorities, it is yet to share specific information regarding the charges.
India has also accused Canada of not acting upon “specific evidence about criminal activities” done by Canada-based individuals. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has prepared a list of 19 fugitive Khalistani terrorists living in UK, US, Canada, Dubai, Pakistan and other countries whose properties are also likely be confiscated, sources said.
India also announced temporarily suspending issuance of visas to Canadian citizens and asked Ottawa to downsize its diplomatic presence in the country.
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, who is in the US, reacted sharply to Canadian PM Trudeau’s charges, saying this is not Indian government’s policy. India has informed Canada that is open to looking at specific and relevant information in this regard, he said.
“We told the Canadians that this is not the government of India’s policy. We told them that look, if you have something specific, if you have something relevant, let us know. We are open to looking at it,” he said.
His remark came to a question from former US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster after the minister’s address at the UN General Assembly session.
“In the last few years, Canada actually has seen a lot of organised crime relating to the secessionist forces, organised crime, violence, extremism. They’re all very, very deeply mixed up,” he added.
The external affairs minister said India has been feeding Canada with information about organized crime leadership operating out of their soil. There were a large number of extradition requests and terrorist leaders identified, he said.
He also raised concern over Indian diplomats and consulates facing threats in Canada.
“We have a situation where actually our diplomats are threatened, our consulates have been attacked and often comments are made about ‘there’s interference in our politics’. And, a lot of this is often justified as saying, well, that’s how democracies work,” he said.