India-Canada news LIVE: Fresh tension has flared between India and Canada early this week following Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau’s explosive allegations of the “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia on June 18. India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020.
India angrily rejected the allegations as “absurd” and “motivated”, and expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move to Ottawa’s expulsion of an Indian official over the case.
In a fresh development to this matter, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on India to cooperate with Canada and ensure “accountability” over the killing of Nijjar.
Meanwhile, Trudeau has reiterated, asking India to cooperate on the investigation. Whereas India has come back swinging at Canada, reducing its diplomatic staff and stopping visa services.
Here are the latest developments on this BIG story:
23 Sep 2023, 04:30:52 PM IST
Why has Khalistani leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun come under scrutiny recently?
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun had recently jumped into the raging row and issued a video telling Canadian Hindus to “go back to India”, claiming they had adopted a “jingoistic approach” by siding with New Delhi.
In an interview with an Indian news channel, Pannun said Nijjar had been his “close associate” for over 20 years and was like a “younger brother” to him. He also blamed India for Nijjar’s killing.
23 Sep 2023, 03:43:41 PM IST
‘Everyone is innocent until proven guilty’: Former Indian envoy to Canada
“I have no idea why the Canadian government did what they did. I reject the allegations that have been made. Let the truth come out in a public environment. So I would say Canada, please take a step back. Reflect carefully. There was no need for us to go public focus. This could easily have been solved at the diplomatic level by continuously engaging engagement between the two governments, but the bomb has exploded. We have to pick up the pieces and move on,” Vikas Swarup told the Global Business Forum at the Fairmont Banff Springs Conference Centre.
He also reminded the Canadian government that “everyone is innocent until proven guilty” and to allow “the rule of law to take its course.”
Swarup, who served as India’s high commissioner to Canada from 2017 to 2019, also repeated the Indian government’s accusations that Ottawa has been too accommodating with violent Sikh separatists – something he said Canada will regret.
23 Sep 2023, 03:07:24 PM IST
‘Political gimmick’ says Sikh body in Kashmir
“Everything is politically exploited. Sikhs are an integral part of this country. Since RSS came into power, the only agenda it has is that they will talk about ‘gharwapsi’ whether it be in Muslims, Sikhs or anybody. We are not going to tolerate it,” All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee Chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina told reporters here.
“The India-Canada situation is a political gimmick as elections are coming up. It is to garner votes during elections and nothing else. The community is progressive, it is working hard for the country and it will continue working like that,” he said.
23 Sep 2023, 02:49:51 PM IST
NIA confiscates properties of Khalistan terrorist Pannun
The National Investigation Agency has confiscated properties owned by designated Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in Chandigarh and Amritsar under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. A property confiscation notice was seen pasted outside Pannun’s residence at Sector 15 in Chandigarh.
23 Sep 2023, 02:39:57 PM IST
Allegation of India’s link to Sikh’s killing based on human and surveillance intelligence: Official
The allegation of India’s involvement in the killing of a Sikh Canadian is based on human and surveillance intelligence, including signals intelligence of Indian diplomats in Canada, an official said.
The communications involved Indian officials and Indian diplomats in Canada and some of the intelligence was provided by a member of the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing alliance — US, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
23 Sep 2023, 02:21:26 PM IST
Canada has Indian diplomats’ communications in bombshell murder probe: Report
The Canadian government has amassed both human and signals intelligence in a months-long investigation of a Sikh activist’s death that has inflamed relations with India, according to CBC News.
That intelligence includes communications involving Indian officials themselves, including Indian diplomats present in Canada, say Canadian government sources.
The intelligence did not come solely from Canada. Some was provided by an unnamed ally in the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.
23 Sep 2023, 01:56:46 PM IST
India-Canada tensions LIVE: Property confiscation notice seen outside Nijjar’s house
A property confiscation notice has been pasted outside a house belonging to Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Jalandhar after the orders of the NIA Mohali court.
23 Sep 2023, 01:43:46 PM IST
India-Canada new LIVE: Who was Hardeep Singh Nijjar–a religious leader or a terrorist
According to a dossier by Indian Intelligence, was not a religious and social figure but a terrorist who was involved in running terrorist training camps and funding terror acts.
Nijjar was a close associate of Gurdeep Singh alias Deepa Heranwala, who was involved in the killing of around 200 people in Punjab during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Heranwala belonged to the banned Khalistan Commando Force.
Nijjar, a plumber by profession had escaped to Canada in 1996 fearing arrest by police in India. He indulged in illegal activities like drug smuggling and extortion in Canada to arrange funding for terrorist activities.
Nijjar was also involved in training youths at a terror camp in British Columbia to carry out attacks in India.
Over the years, Nijjar assumed the role of ‘Operation Chief’ of Khalistan Tiger Force, or KTF, a banned terror group.
In 2020, he was accused by the government of being actively involved in “operationalising, networking, training, and financing” KTF members.
In 2012, Nijjar visited Pakistan and came in touch with Jagtar Singh Tara, chief of Babbar Khalsa International, another banned terror group.
Tara supplied him with arms and trained him in assembling IEDs in 2012 and 2013. He sent US-based Harjot Singh Birring to Canada to train Nijjar in operating a hand-held GPS device.
In 2014, Nijjar planned a terror attack on Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa in Haryana in direction of Tara. However, the attack could not take place because Nijjar was denied an Indian visa.
Nijjar was also the head of the Canada chapter of Sikhs For Justice, another banned terrorist organisation.
He had also organised violent anti-India protests in Canada and threatened Indian diplomats.
23 Sep 2023, 12:53:42 PM IST
Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s murder charges: India’s warning fell on Canada’s deaf ears
Six years ago India spoke to Canada about the myriad allegations against Hardeep Singh Nijjar but the then government decided to put him on the no-fly list and take no other option. Indian Intelligence dossier showed that Nijjar has acted to protect himself by venturing into gurudwara politics in Canada and acquiring Canadian citizenship.
A plumber by profession, Nijaar got Canadian citizenship in 2001. At that time, he joined the Babbar Khalsa International using close links with Jagtar Singh Tara, former chief of Khalistan Tiger Force. Their proximity was uncovered in 2014 when Nijjar met Tara in Thailand, who was involved in the assassination of former Punjab CM Beant Singh. Nijjar travelled to Pakistan to coordinate his escape from Thailand with ISI’s help.
23 Sep 2023, 12:52:49 PM IST
Canadian ministers denounce ‘online hate video’ against Hindus
Canada’s top federal public safety officials and politicians have denounced the “online hate video” agaisnt Hindus and asserted that Hindus are “safe and welcome.”
The video surfaced days after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s explosive allegations on September 18 of the “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
23 Sep 2023, 12:18:57 PM IST
‘Canada holding back info on Nijjar killing’
Premier of British Columbia province, David Ebby has said that Justin Trudeau government is “holding back” information on the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, CBC News reported. Eby said that Canada’s Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc had reached out, “but there has not been good information sharing”.
23 Sep 2023, 11:51:07 AM IST
India-Canada news LIVE: How the political row will affect both countries
According to a report by the Wilson Institute, ‘Trade’ will be the first major casualty of the fallout. Both countries have declared that they would pause trade talks with each other earlier this month and Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng has indefinitely postponed a trade mission to New Delhi that had been planned for October.
The allegations can damage India’s public image as a democratic nation committed to a rules-based order or, more critically, its perception as a trustworthy ally in the competition against China, the report added.
Intensifying tensions between India and Canada are prompting travellers and students to reconsider their plans until the situation becomes clearer.
Visa applicants are postponing appointments due to concerns over potential visa rejections.
23 Sep 2023, 11:35:53 AM IST
India-Canada news: ‘Gave details linking India govt to Nijjar’s murder,’ say officials
Canadian officials shared evidence with India’s government, including communications and phone numbers that they believe link Indian agents with the murder of a Sikh activist before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went public with the allegation.
The information was exchanged via security officials of the two countries, an official said.
23 Sep 2023, 10:53:15 AM IST
India-Canada news LIVE: ‘Trudeau has made a huge mistake,’ says Ex-Pentagon official
Former Pentagon official Michael Rubin has said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made a huge mistake by alleging that India had links with the killing of Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar and said that the premier has not been able to back his allegations.
“Prime Minister Trudeau I think has made a huge mistake. He has made allegations in a manner which he hasn’t been able to back. Either he was shooting from the hip and he doesn’t have the evidence to support the accusations he made against the government. There is something there, in which case he needs to explain why this government was sheltering a terrorist,” Rubin said.
23 Sep 2023, 09:30:47 AM IST
India-Canada row: ‘Between India and Canada, the US will choose…’, Ex-Pentagon official
Former Pentagon official Michael Rubin said that if the United States has to choose between Canada and India, it will surely choose the latter as the relationship is “too important”.
“I suspect that the United States doesn’t want to be painted a corner to choose between two friends. But if we have to choose between two friends, increasingly we’re going to choose India on this matter, simply because Nijjar was a terrorist, and India is too important. Our relationship is too important,” Michael Rubin said.
23 Sep 2023, 09:05:05 AM IST
India-Canada issue: Indian Intelligence reveals shocking details of Hardeep Singh Nijjar
Indian intelligence agencies have claimed that Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar became head of Guru Nanak Gurudwara by threatening his own cousin and the temple’s former president Raghbir Singh Nijjar.
A dossier by Indian Intelligence mentioned that Nijjar was an old associate of Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) terrorist Gurdeep Singh aka Deepa Heranwala, who was involved in over 200 killings in Punjab in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was initiated into crime by another gang lord, Gurnek Singh aka Neka.
Nijjar escaped to Canada on a forged passport in the name of “Ravi Sharma” in 1996 and kept a low profile as a truck driver and a plumber, the dossier adds. He came in touch with Pakistan-based KTF chief Jagtar Singh Tara and visited Pakistan under the cover of being a Baisakhi jatha member in April 2012, it says. He was radicalised by Tara and cultivated by the Pakistan spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), with the former imparting him arms and explosives training in 2012 and 2013. The dossier even claims that in 2013, Tara sent the US-based Harjot Singh Birring to Canada to train Nijjar in using a handheld GPS device. In 2015, after the deportation of Jagtar Singh Tara to India from Thailand, Nijjar assumed the role of operations chief of KTF.
By then, there was already an Interpol Red Corner notice against him, according to the dossier. This was issued in November 2014, but he was then granted citizenship despite his request for political asylum being rejected twice by the Canadian immigration authorities.
After assuming charge of KTF in Canada, Nijjar was actively involved in spotting, networking, training, funding, and operationalizing KTF module members according to the dossier, which lists his activities.
Nijjar had 10 FIRs against him in India.
23 Sep 2023, 08:49:03 AM IST
India-Canada row LIVE: ‘Justin Trudeau is short-sighted’
On allegations by Canada, Michael Rubin, former Pentagon official and a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute said, “Justin Trudeau was very short-sighted, and no one should trade, their short-term political convenience for the long-term relationship with the world’s largest democracy”.
23 Sep 2023, 08:37:41 AM IST
India-Canada conflict not to impact proposed free trade pact, says expert
Experts have pointed out that the talks for a free trade agreement (FTA) between India and Canada may have taken a pause but will resume once the political row between the two countries is resolved.
However, they said that India may not hurry for the trade agreement as 60% of New Delhi’s exports are already entering Canada at zero duty.
In March last year, the two countries re-launched negotiations for an interim agreement, officially dubbed as Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA).
Over half a dozen rounds of talks have been held between the two countries on the trade pact so far.
In such agreements, two countries significantly reduce or eliminate customs duties on the maximum number of goods traded between them. They also liberalise norms for promoting trade in services and attracting investments.
“I do not think that the current diplomatic row would impact the resumption of FTA talks. It would resume after the differences between the countries will settle down,” international trade expert Biswajit Dhar said.
Indian industry was looking at duty-free access for products like textiles and leather besides easy visa norms for the movement of professionals. Canada has interests in areas like dairy and agricultural products.
The bilateral trade between the countries has increased to $8.16 billion in 2022-23 from $7 billion in 2021-22.
23 Sep 2023, 08:24:49 AM IST
India-Canada conflict LIVE: Modi govt stops new visas for Canadians
The Indian government has suspended new visas for Canadians. Besides amid the tensions flaring between the two nations, India has asked Canada to reduce its diplomatic presence in the country. A blanket suspension of new visas by India for a Western country is unheard of and marks the lowest point of India-Canada relations.
The announcement came hours after Canada’s high commission in India said it would temporarily “adjust” staff presence in the country after some diplomats received threats on social media platforms.
23 Sep 2023, 07:38:28 AM IST
India-Canada row LIVE: Govt extends consular services for Indian nationals
The Consulate General of India in Toronto has extended consular services, including passport issuance, attestation, police clearance certificate and passport renewal for Indian citizens in Canada.
23 Sep 2023, 07:24:32 AM IST
India-Canada tension LIVE: Here’s what US said
A top US official has said that America is deeply concerned about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations of India’s potential involvement in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the US has engaged directly with the Indian government on the issue and that the most productive thing would be the completion of this investigation.
“We’ve been engaged directly with the Indian government as well. And again, I think the most productive thing that can happen now is to see this investigation move forward (and) be completed. And we would hope that our Indian friends would cooperate with that investigation as well,” the Secretary of State said.
He said the US is “extremely vigilant about any instances of alleged transnational repression” and takes them “very, very seriously”.
“And I think it’s important more broadly for the international system that any country that might consider engaging in such acts (does) not do so. So it’s something that we’re also focused on in a much broader way,” Blinken said. Read more here
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