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Canada Arrests Three Indian Suspects In Nijjar Killing, Probes Link With India Govt

| Updated: May 4, 2024 15:33

Canadian police have arrested three Indians they suspect were part of the alleged hit squad that had killed Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar last year.

Nijjar’s killing had become the epicentre of a diplomatic row between India and Canada last year after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged the role of “Indian agents” in the murder. India had rejected the charge as “absurd” and “motivated”.

The three arrested Indians – Karan Brar, 22, Kamalpreet Singh, 22, Karanpreet Singh, 28 – were living as non-permanent residents in Alberta for three to five years, said Superintendent Mandeep Mooker, who leads the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team. The police have also released their photos.

They have been charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, showed court documents.

Police said none of the suspects were known to them earlier and they were investigating their possible ties to the Indian government.

The murder remains “very much under active investigation,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Assistant Commissioner David Teboul told a press conference on Friday.

“There are separate and distinct investigations ongoing into these matters, certainly not limited to the involvement of the people arrested today, and these efforts include investigating connections to the government of India,” CTV News quoted him as saying.

Nijjar, a Canadian citizen who was wanted in India on various terror charges, was shot dead outside a gurdwara in Surrey on June 18, 2023. Trudeau’s charge against India sparked a massive row later that year with both countries expelling diplomats of the other country.

A fresh row erupted earlier this week after separatist slogans on ‘Khalistan’ were raised at an event addressed by Trudeau, prompting New Delhi to summon their Deputy High Commissioner and lodge a strong protest.

On the sidelines of the event, Trudeau told reporters that Nijjar’s killing had created a “problem” that he could not have ignored.

India rejected his comment and said it once again showed Canada provides political space given to separatism, extremism, and violence. “This not only impacts India-Canada relations but also encourages a climate of violence and criminality in Canada to the detriment of its own citizens,” foreign ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said.

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