India, Canada expel diplomats over accusations Delhi assassinated Sikh

NEW DELHI — India on Tuesday expelled a Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat transfer after Canadian officers accused Indian authorities operatives of gunning down a Sikh chief in British Columbia and threw out an Indian diplomat they recognized as an intelligence officer.

The alleged assassination, disclosed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau throughout an explosive speech earlier than parliament on Monday, despatched bilateral relations between the 2 nations tumbling towards its lowest level, but in addition held broader ramifications for ties between the U.S.-led alliance and India, which the Biden administration has assiduously courted as a strategic counterweight to China.

The expelled Canadian diplomat was not named in an Indian authorities assertion however was recognized by the Hindustan Times because the Canadian intelligence station chief in New Delhi.

Trudeau says ‘credible allegations’ tie India to killing in Canada

The Indian authorities issued an announcement Tuesday rejecting Trudeau’s allegations as “absurd and motivated.” India’s Foreign Ministry went on to say Trudeau’s allegations “seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The inaction of the Canadian Government on this matter has been a long-standing and continuing concern.”

Hardeep Singh Nijjar was designated a terrorist by Indian safety companies in 2020 and accused of planning assaults inside India’s Punjab state, which is residence to about 16 million Sikhs. The Khalistan motion he was a part of seeks to kind a breakaway state within the Punjab area known as Khalistan and has supporters each inside India and among the many massive world Sikh diaspora.

Months earlier than Nijjar was shot by masked gunmen within the car parking zone of a Sikh temple exterior Vancouver on June 18, India ratcheted up a marketing campaign to strain international locations together with Canada, Australia, Britain and the United States, residence to important Sikh communities and frequent pro-Khalistan protests, to crack down on the motion.

In London and San Francisco, protesters stormed the grounds of Indian diplomatic missions to boost their motion’s flag, angering the New Delhi authorities.

Trudeau on Monday stated he had just lately expressed “deep concerns” to Indian safety and intelligence officers concerning the killing and in addition conveyed them “personally and directly” and “in no uncertain terms” to Modi on the Group of 20 summit in New Delhi this month. He stated Canada was wanting into the killing with allied nations.

Trudeau’s India go to was fraught, with Modi’s workplace asserting on the time that the 2 leaders had mentioned the Khalistan challenge and Modi conveying “India’s strong concerns about continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada.”

Trudeau stayed a day longer than deliberate in New Delhi, which the Canadian embassy attributed to a technical downside in his airplane.

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