Hardeep Singh Nijjar is the fresh flashpoint between India and Canada. Though he was killed in June this year by unknown assasilants, Canada believes India was behind his murder. India, however, has rejected the allegations. Nijjar, who hails from Punjab, went to Canada to pursue a career as a plumber but went on to become one of the most wanted terrorists in India.
From Plumber To Khalistani Terrorist
According to Punjab Police, Nijjar hailed from Bharsingh Pura village in Jalandhar. Nijjar moved to Canada in 1996 and started working as a plumber. According to reports, the plumbing work did not have significant monetary income and Nijjar was on the lookout for additional source of income. He came in contacts with Babbar Khalsa International under the leadership of Jagtar Singh Tara in late 2000s. Sensing a huge funding from anti-India elements, Nijjar adopted the radical route and started working as pro-Khalistani activist. In 2011, he founded The Khalistan Tiger Force as an offshoot of the Babbar Khalsa International. Since then, his wealth grew manifolds with his active involvement in pro-Khalistan activities.
Nijjar also had affiliations with the banned Khalistani separatist group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) headed by Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. Nijjar reportedly held number 2 position in the SFJ. Nijjar had many FIRs registered against him in India. He was also on the most wanted list of the NIA. While India had made several request to Canada seeking action against Khalistani terrorists, Canadian government did not pay heed to New Delhi’s request, thus leading to a bitter relations between both the nations.
India vs Canada Tussle
India on Tuesday expelled a senior Canadian diplomat to India in a reciprocal move to Canada expelling a senior Indian diplomat. The move comes after India rejected as “absurd and motivated” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s charge that India played a role in the June killing of a Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Canadian High Commissioner to India, Cameron MacKay was summoned today to the South Block, the headquarters of Ministry of External Affairs. “The High Commissioner of Canada to India was summoned today and informed about the decision of the Government of India to expel a senior Canadian diplomat based in India,” a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs said today.
“The concerned diplomat has been asked to leave India within the next five days. The decision reflects the Government of India’s growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities,” it said.
Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly on Monday said an Indian diplomat in Canada had been expelled, Joly said the Canadian government had expelled the Indian diplomat over allegations of the country’s involvement in the killing of the Khalistani leader
“We see this possible breach of sovereignty as completely unacceptable, and so, that is also why we’re coming (out) with this information (of the expulsion of the Indian diplomat) today,” Joly said at a news conference.
Meanwhile, India rejected allegations made by Trudeau in the Canadian Parliament. “We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister” said the MEA in an official statement. (With ANI inputs)