Following the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the leader of a Sikh-Indian group in British Columbia, Canada-India diplomatic relations have become tense, and Delhi has urged its citizens to refrain from travelling to Canada.
On Wednesday, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said that due to the deteriorating security situation in Canada, especially for students, they should be mindful of their safety.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced yesterday that credible evidence exists regarding India’s involvement in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, and the Canadian government is taking this matter seriously. Meanwhile, Canada has expelled an Indian diplomat in connection with this case.
On Monday, Canada made a significant announcement, stating its determined efforts to investigate credible allegations linking agents of the Indian government to the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in British Columbia in June. This development represents a significant setback in the diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar, aged 45, was fatally shot on June 18 outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, a Vancouver suburb with a sizable Sikh population. Najjar, an advocate for an independent Khalistani state, was designated as a “terrorist” by India in July 2020.
This comes as the Indian government has denied Canada’s claim. Delhi has given a Canadian diplomat five days to leave the country.
Hardeep Singh, due to his Sikh separatist advocacy for an independent Sikh state, was at the top of the Indian government’s list of terrorists. Although Sikh separatist movements had been ongoing since the 1980s, during the tenure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, they became a serious concern, leading the Indian government to crack down on them.
However, Sikh activists in countries like Canada, the United States, and Australia, with the support of these nations, hope to create an independent state called Khalistan in northern India and have made several attempts at advocacy.
Nevertheless, the Indian government has warned of worsening diplomatic relations with these countries and urged them to withdraw their support for Sikh separatists.