Home india-news Looking to work constructively with Indian government: Trudeau on Nijjar killing | Latest News India

Looking to work constructively with Indian government: Trudeau on Nijjar killing | Latest News India

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Looking to work constructively with Indian government: Trudeau on Nijjar killing | Latest News India

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Toronto/New Delhi: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said his country is looking to work with India to get to the bottom of the killing of pro-Khalistan activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, prompting New Delhi to say on Thursday that it has not received any concrete information on the case from Ottawa.

File Photo
File Photo

India-Canada relations cratered last year after Trudeau alleged there was a potential link between Indian government agents and the killing of Nijjar, who was gunned down outside a gurdwara in Surrey last June. India dismissed these allegations as absurd and asked Canada to withdraw 41 diplomats from the country.

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Responding to a question at a media event in Vancouver on Wednesday, Trudeau said Canada was unequivocal about standing up for the rule of law and ensuring “appropriate investigations” into the murder of Nijjar. In this context, Canada is looking to work with India, he said.

“We’re looking to work constructively with the government of India to get to the bottom of this, to understand how this could have happened, and to make sure that no Canadians are ever vulnerable again to foreign interference by any international power,” Trudeau said.

When external affairs ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal was asked about Trudeau’s remarks at a weekly media briefing, he said there was “nothing new” in Canada’s position.

The external affairs ministry had said soon after Trudeau made the allegations last September that India is “ready to investigate any specific and concrete information if it is shared with us, but we are yet to receive any such information”, Jaiswal said.

“What Prime Minister Trudeau has really said is nothing new,” Jaiswal said. “We have also cautioned against playing politics and giving extremists more space.”

Trudeau also said at the media event that the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is “something that we all should take extremely seriously”.

He added, “The credible allegations that agents of the Indian government were involved in [the killing of Nijjar] is something that we did not declare lightly….”

More than nine months have passed since a probe into Nijjar’s killing was undertaken by an Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) in Canada but no arrests have been announced and no proof has emerged as yet.

The Indian side set up a high-level inquiry committee to look into inputs provided by the US into an alleged attempt to kill Khalistani leader Gurpatwant Pannun on American soil. According to an indictment filed by US prosecutors against Indian national Nikhil Gupta, the alleged plot was directed by an Indian official.

While the Indian government has not yet said anything publicly about the findings of this inquiry, people familiar with the matter said a middle-ranking official had been removed from his position in an intelligence agency following the probe.

Both Nijjar and Pannun were declared terrorists by Indian authorities as part of the drive against the activities of pro-Khalistan groups.


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