NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday (19th September, 2023) rejected the “absurd” allegation that its agents were behind the killing of a Sikh leader in Canada, after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s bombshell accusation sent already sour diplomatic relations to a new low.
Ottawa also expelled a diplomat it described as the head of India’s foreign intelligence service in Canada, prompting a tit-for-tat order from New Delhi for a Canadian diplomat to leave.
Trudeau said Monday that “credible allegations” linked Indian agents to the June slaying of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was accused by New Delhi of carrying out terrorist attacks in India – a charge he denied before his death.
New Delhi insisted it had nothing to do with the killing, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “completely rejected” the accusation when earlier raised privately by Trudeau.
“Allegations of Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
“We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to rule of law.”
Nijjar, whom India had declared a wanted terrorist, was gunned down on June 18 in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver home to a large Sikh community.
Canada has the largest population of Sikhs globally outside of India, and New Delhi has long been unhappy with Canada’s handling of Sikh separatist activists.