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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 05 December 2023

Credible evidence of India's involvement in killing of Sikh separatist, says Canadian MP Jagmeet Singh

Describing the allegations levelled by Justin Trudeau against India as a very serious thing, Singh said that his views were based on the intelligence briefing he received

PTI Washington Published 27.09.23, 10:21 AM
Representational picture

Representational picture File

A leader of Canada's New Democratic Party, which is an ally of the country's ruling party, has said there is a "clear" indication of a foreign government being involved in the killing of a Canadian citizen.

"As the prime minister shared publicly, there is Canadian intelligence which indicates that a Canadian citizen was killed on Canadian soil and a foreign government was implicated," NDP leader Jagmeet Singh told reporters in Ottawa on Tuesday.

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Singh's New Democratic Party is the fourth largest party in the House of Commons or Lower House of the Canadian Parliament.

Describing the allegations levelled by Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau against India as a very serious thing, Singh said that his views were based on the intelligence briefing he received.

"This is unprecedented intelligence that has come forward and that is why we're going to continue to urge that the Canadian government have a thorough investigation that those responsible are brought forward," the NDP leader said.

Responding to a question, Singh said the United States has been very supportive of Canada's call for transparency from India. "We are going to continue to push for those things," he added.

Singh said he received the briefing on materials prepared by former governor-general David Johnston, who had been named as a special rapporteur to explore the issue. Johnston has now resigned from the role.

According to the Vancouver Sun, the former governor-general's report concluded that Trudeau's government did not knowingly or negligently fail to act on foreign attempts to interfere in the last two federal elections.

"On the confidential annexe regarding Mr Johnson's report, I viewed the documents and two things were very clear to me. One, is that it confirmed that we absolutely need a public inquiry. I had a different opinion than Mr Johnson. That's moving ahead," he said.

"After reading the documents, it does really show a lack of urgency or action on the part of the prime minister and the Prime Minister's office. Having read that, there was not the urgency, called on by the information that I read, and the prime minister did not show that urgency in actions in response to the information," Singh said.

He further said there is a very real fear of Sikhs being targeted in Canada.

"For a long time, members of the Sikh community have been targeted by actions of the Indian government and for a long time it's gone often unnoticed or unrecognised. For a lot of people hearing the prime minister of a G7 nation provide intelligence that connects the killing of a Canadian on Canadian soil by foreign government, really confirmed a lot of the fears that people have felt and has made those fears even more real and more tangible," Singh said.

He alleged that there are a lot of other diasporic communities from India who are critical of the Indian government or its policies and share that fear.

"I speak of other religious minority communities like Muslims, other communities that are oppressed like women and groups that are from low caste backgrounds or tribal backgrounds who've expressed very deep concerns about the treatment that they've received. They're also feeling that real sense of fear and worry," he claimed.

Tensions flared between India and Canada following Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau's explosive allegations of "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, on his country's soil on June 18 in British Columbia. 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.

India also announced temporarily suspending the issuance of visas to Canadian citizens and asked Ottawa to downsize its diplomatic presence in the country.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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