Canada Charges Three Indian Nationals For Assassination Of Sikh Separatist

Three men have been arrested and charged with the murder of a prominent Sikh separatist in Canada, police said. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has previously had ties with the Indian government, prompting strong protests from New Delhi. The suspects were identified in court documents as Karanpreet Singh, Kamalpreet Singh and also Karan Brar. According to the documents, the men are charged with “conspiring with others to commit the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.” They are also charged with a second offence. Of committing “first-degree murder” with a firearm “on or also about June 18, 2023.

Police said in a press conference Friday. That all three suspects are Indian nationals and also do not have permanent resident status in Canada. Authorities are investigating whether there are ties to the Indian government. The latest development in a long-running conspiracy that has heightened diplomatic tensions between Canada and also India. Nijal, a Canadian citizen, was shot dead by masked men outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia, last June. He was a prominent activist in the Sikh homeland separate from India, a region known as Khalistan, which included parts of the Indian state of Punjab.

Credible Information

Last September, Prime Minister Trudeau said he had credible information linking the Indian government to Nijjar’s murder. The claim infuriated India, which vehemently rejected it as “absurd.” The diplomatic dispute resulted in the random expulsion of high-ranking diplomats from both countries. Authorities did not identify the accused and his alleged accomplices but said a separate investigation into Nijjar’s death was ongoing.

“These efforts include investigating our ties to the Indian government,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Deputy Commissioner David Teboul said at a press conference on Friday. The movement for the creation of Khalistan has long been banned in India, where many remain haunted by painful memories of a deadly rebellion by some Sikh separatists. But the campaign has garnered public sympathy from some in the Sikh diaspora abroad, and activists protected by free speech laws can more openly call for secession from India.


Weeks after Trudeau’s announcement, the United States accused Indian government officials of participating in a plot to kill another Sikh separatist, U.S. citizen Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, on U.S. soil. A U.S. indictment released in November also accuses Nikhil Gupta, an Indian national, of plotting to kill Pannunun. Panun is a wanted man in India and is considered a terrorist by the Indian government.

U.S. prosecutors allege that Mr. Gupta acted on orders from anonymous Indian government officials. The Indian government denies any involvement in the alleged plot to kill Pannun.

The day after Nijjar’s murder in Canada, U.S. prosecutors announced that Mr. Gupta told an undercover agent posing as a hitman that Nijjar was one of his targets. “We have a lot of goals,” Gupta is quoted as saying.


Nijal’s murder sent chills through Sikh activists living abroad. Dr. Pritpal Singh, a U.S. national who heads the U.S. Sikh Caucus Committee, told CNN he was given a “duty to warn” by the FBI about the danger to his life after the Canadian was killed.

In a statement, he praised Canadian law enforcement’s “commitment to upholding justice by vigorously prosecuting those responsible for these crimes,” adding, “As a community, we stand firm in our demands for accountability.” I will continue to stand up and fight for justice.” “To ensure this, we will deal decisively with any reprehensible behaviour.”

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