India Vs Canada: How Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Khalistani Terrorist is at the centre of it
Canada expelled an Indian diplomat from Ottawa on Monday, accusing India of having a hand in the murder of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June.
The expelled diplomat has been "identified" by the Canadian government as a senior member of India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) intelligence service. According to other sources, the diplomat was recognized by Mélanie Joly's office as Pavan Kumar Rai, the director of RAW in Canada. Later, the Canadian minister conferred with S. Jaishankar, the minister of external affairs.
The expulsion follows 'credible claims of probable nexus' between the Indian operatives and the killing of Nijjar being mentioned by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his speech to his parliament.
On June 18, 2023, Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot and killed in Canada. He was shot several times in front of a Surrey Gurudwara.
Nijjar was a native of the Jalandhar village of Bhar Singh Pura. In 1997, he relocated to Canada from Punjab and started working as a plumber. He has two boys and is married.
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Since moving to Canada, he has been involved in Khalistan militancy for a long time. He was the "mastermind" behind the outlawed Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF). Additionally, he belonged to the outlawed separatist group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ). In 2020, India labelled him as a terrorist.
In multiple cases, including the 2007 blast in Ludhiana, Punjab, which left six people dead and about 40 injured, Nijjar was one of the most wanted. Additionally, he took part in the murder of Rulda Singh, the president of the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat (Patiala, 2009).
In connection with the killing of a Hindu priest in Jalandhar, Punjab, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had offered a cash reward of 10 lakh on Nijjar in July of last year. Additionally, it is looking into recent assaults on Indian diplomatic missions in the US, UK, and Canada.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed to Justin Trudeau India's concerns about the ongoing anti-Indian activities of extreme elements in Canada earlier this month during their bilateral meeting, noting that they are encouraging secessionism, inciting violence against Indian diplomats, and endangering the Indian community in the North American nation.