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Canadian Police Arrest 3 in Killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar

Three individuals have been charged within the killing of a Sikh chief in British Columbia, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India of orchestrating, fraying relations between the 2 international locations.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh nationalist and Canadian citizen, was gunned down final June by two masked assailants within the parking zone of the temple in Surrey, British Columbia, the place he was president, in keeping with the police.

Three males, all Indian nationals of their 20s, have been all arrested in Edmonton, Alberta and charged with first-degree homicide and conspiracy to commit homicide.

Mr. Nijjar was a frontrunner within the native Khalistan motion, which seeks to create a separate Sikh nation in India that features the northern state of Punjab.

Mr. Nijjar was born in Punjab and moved to Canada within the warmth of India’s crackdown on Sikh leaders within the Nineteen Nineties, in keeping with Indian media reviews. He was the chief of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara temple in Surrey, a metropolis outdoors Vancouver that’s dwelling to one of many largest Sikh populations in Canada.

The Indian authorities had labeled Mr. Nijjar a terrorist in 2020, and referred to as for his arrest.

His killing set off diplomatic skirmishes between Canada and India, after Mr. Trudeau accused India of being concerned within the killing on Canadian soil. The Indian authorities strongly denied the accusation, which led each international locations to expel senior diplomats.

Mr. Nijjar had been one in all a number of Sikh neighborhood members warned about threats on their life by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Jagmeet Singh, chief of the federal New Democratic Occasion who represents a British Columbia district, testified final month at a overseas interference inquiry that he had additionally been warned by the police of potential threats towards his life.

The general public inquiry, which delivered its interim report on Friday, was established final September following rising political strain towards Mr. Trudeau to research allegations that international locations like China and India have interfered in Canadian elections.

The report discovered that Indian intelligence officers use proxies in Canada to affect communities and politicians, with a particular curiosity within the Khalistan motion.

The arrest of the lads accused of finishing up Mr. Nijjar’s killing will present little consolation to the Sikh neighborhood if Indian officers implicated within the killing and different interference actions are additionally not held accountable, mentioned Balpreet Singh Boparai, a Toronto-based lawyer on the World Sikh Group of Canada.

“We simply hope that Canada has the center to be clear and determine these people who’re behind this plot,” he mentioned.

Apart from a map outlining the getaway car’s route and a few grainy photographs of the assailants, the police investigating Mr. Nijjar’s homicide over the past yr have launched little data on their progress.

In December, sources who spoke to The Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper, mentioned arrests have been imminent, however the passing months had left some in the neighborhood involved that Mr. Nijjar’s one-year loss of life anniversary in June would cross with no decision.

Mihika Agarwal contributed reporting from Surrey, British Columbia.

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