Ottawa (Agencies): Three Indian nationals, suspected of being involved in the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh separatist leader, have been detained by Canadian authorities. Nijjar, who was labeled a “terrorist” by the Indian government, was a staunch advocate for Khalistan, a proposed independent nation to be established in and around India’s Punjab state.

The detainees, identified as Karan Brar, Kamalpreet Singh, and Karanpreet Singh, had been residing in Alberta, Canada as non-permanent residents for a period of three to five years, as per the Canadian police. The trio is slated to be moved to British Columbia to face charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Assistant Commissioner, David Teboul, stated at a briefing that multiple investigations into Nijjar’s assassination are underway, including potential links to the Indian government. The suspects were not previously known to the Canadian police.

Nijjar was fatally shot in a parking lot outside a Sikh temple in British Columbia in June last year, which ignited a diplomatic row between India and Canada. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested the possible involvement of Indian agents in the incident in September 2023, without providing concrete evidence. This led to a temporary suspension of visa services to Canadians by the Indian government and the expulsion of diplomats.

Trudeau later clarified in an interview that his public accusation was intended to “put a chill on India.” India has consistently denied any involvement in the assassination and has called on Canada to provide evidence to support its allegations. Furthermore, India has accused Canada and other Western nations of providing a safe haven for “terrorists” and giving a platform to “separatists, terrorists, and anti-India elements.”

The arrest of the alleged assassins occurred shortly after Trudeau attended a public event where pro-Khalistan slogans were chanted. This led to the Indian government summoning the Canadian deputy high commissioner to lodge a diplomatic protest.

By Media

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