New Delhi: Hours after India on Tuesday rejected “absurd” accusations by the Canadian government on the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the Congress said it believed that the country’s fight against terrorism has to be uncompromising, and the country’s interests and concerns must be kept paramount at all times.
The sharp reaction from the Congress came after Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused New Delhi of involvement in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia’s Surrey in June, a charge denied by the Indian government.
In a post on X, Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said, “The Indian National Congress has always believed that our country’s fight against terrorism has to be uncompromising, especially when terrorism threatens India’s sovereignty, unity and integrity.”
“Our country’s interests and concerns must be kept paramount at all times,” he said. His remarks came after India on Tuesday rejected the “absurd” accusations by the Canadian government that Indian agents were involved in the killing of Nijjar.
India’s relations with Canada nosedived on Tuesday when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused New Delhi of involvement in the killing of Nijjar in British Columbia’s Surrey in June. Canada also expelled “a senior Indian diplomat” for India’s alleged involvement in the killing. Nijjar, who was spearheading the Khalistani referendum in Canada, was gunned down by two persons on June 18 in the parking lot of Surrey’s Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara.
Trudeau told the House of Commons that the “agents of the Indian government” carried out Nijjar’s killing. Trudeau said: “Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty. It is contrary to the fundamental rules by which free, open, and democratic societies conduct themselves.
“As you would expect, we have been working closely and coordinating with our allies on this very serious matter.” Trudeau said that he brought the issue to the notice of the Indian Prime Minister during his visit. “Canada declared its deep concerns to the top intelligence and security officials of the Indian government last week at the G20. I brought them personally and directly to Prime Minister Modi.”
The Ministry of External Affairs reacted sharply to the Canadian Prime Minister’s remarks and in a statement said, “We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister. Allegations of the Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated…We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to rule of law.”
In the statement, the MEA said, “Such unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
“The inaction of the Canadian government on this matter has been a long-standing and continuing concern. That Canadian political figures have openly expressed sympathy for such elements remains a matter of deep concern. The space given in Canada to a range of illegal activities including murders, human trafficking and organised crime is not new. We reject any attempts to connect Government of India to such developments. We urge the Government of Canada to take prompt and effective legal action against all anti-India elements operating from their soil,” the MEA added.