Canada yet to share specific evidence, information on Nijjar killing case: MEA

    The Hawk
    May9/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    India criticizes Canada's lack of cooperation and security concerns as diplomatic tensions escalate following the arrest of three Indians linked to the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

    Randhir Jaiswal

    New Delhi: Days after Canadian police said it has arrested three Indians in connection with the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, India on Thursday said Ottawa has not provided any "specific" evidence or information regarding the case to it.

    Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said Canada has informed India about the arrests.

    "Let me first make it clear that no specific or relevant evidence or information has been shared by the Canadian authorities till date," he said.

    "You will, therefore, understand our view that the matter is being pre-judged," Jaiswal said at his weekly media briefing.

    Last week, Canadian authorities charged the three Indian nationals with the murder of Nijjar. It is reported that they entered Canada on student visas.

    "Obviously, there are political interests at work. We have long maintained that separatists, extremists and those advocating violence have been given a political space in Canada," Jaiswal said.

    "Our diplomats have been threatened with impunity and obstructed in their performance of duties," he added.

    "We have also pointed to the Canadian authorities that figures associated with organised crime with links with India have been allowed entry and residency in Canada," Jaiswal said.

    He said many of India's extradition requests are pending with Canada.

    "We are having discussions at the diplomatic level on all these matters," he said.

    India on Tuesday hit out at Canada for providing a "safe haven" and political space to criminal and "secessionist" elements, in a sharp reaction to pro-Khalistan elements displaying an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an offensive manner at a parade in Ontario's Malton area.

    India also accused Canada of allowing "celebration and glorification" of violence, and expressed concerns over the security of Indian diplomats in that country and that it expects Ottawa to ensure that they are able to carry out their responsibilities without fear.

    India's strong reaction came two days after the "Nagar Kirtan" parade in Malton displayed a "float" that contained an effigy of the Indian prime minister reportedly within a cage.

    The ties between India and Canada came under severe strain following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegations in September last year of a "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Nijjar in British Columbia.

    New Delhi rejected Trudeau's charges as "absurd".

    Canadian authorities arrested Karan Brar (22), Kamalpreet Singh (22) and Karanpreet Singh (28) last week.

    Days after Trudeau's allegations, India asked Ottawa to downsize its diplomatic presence in the country to ensure parity.

    Subsequently, Canada withdrew 41 diplomats and their family members from India.

    India has been asserting that its "core issue" with Canada remains that of the space given to separatists, terrorists and anti-India elements in that country.