India’s Sharp Response After Canada Arrests 3 In Hardeep Nijjar Killing


New Delhi: Days after three Indians were arrested in Canada for the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, India has said there are “political interests at work” in the matter and reiterated its position that separatists and extremists have been given political space in the country.

Responding to a question on Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said India has been informed about the arrests by Canada, but not at a diplomatic level. To a poser on whether consular access had been granted, Mr Jaiswal only said that, in some countries, access is not given until the person or people who have been arrested specifically request for it.

Diplomatic ties between India and Canada have remained tense since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed in the country’s Parliament in September last year that his government had “credible allegations” linking the killing of Nijjar in June 2023 with the “agents of the Government of India”.

Asked whether India had been given any evidence of involvement in the killing, Mr Jaiswal reiterated the country’s consistent stand.

Mincing no words, he said, “Let me first make it clear that no specific or relevant evidence or information has been shared by the Canadian authorities in regard to this matter till date. You will therefore understand our view that the matter is being pre-judged. Obviously, there are political interests at work. We have long maintained that separatists, extremists and those advocating violence have been given political space in Canada.”

“Our diplomats have been threatened with impunity and obstructed in their performance of duties. 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. Many of our extradition requests are pending. We are having discussions at the diplomatic level on all these matters,” he added.

Karan Brar, 22, Kamalpreet Singh, 22, and Karanpreet Singh, 28, residents of Edmonton, were arrested last week on suspicion of being part of the hit squad that had killed Nijjar. They have been charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

While Mr Trudeau had claimed after the arrests that Canada is “a rule-of-law country” and the investigation into the murder is not limited to the three Indians, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that, despite warnings from Delhi, Canada has been issuing visas to people with links to organised crime.

“Our biggest problem right now is in Canada. Because in Canada the party in power and other parties have given these kinds of extremism, separatism, and advocates of violence a certain legitimacy in the name of free speech. When you tell them something, their answer is ‘no, we are a democratic country, and it is free speech’,” Mr Jaishankar had said.__NDTV