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Factbox-What led to the arrests in Canada for the murder of a Sikh separatist?

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – Canadian police on Friday charged three people in connection with the June 2023 killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia province, a source directly familiar with the case said.

The following is a timeline of the key events leading to the arrests in a killing spree that has roiled Canada-India relations.

June 18, 2023: Nijjar, 45, is shot dead outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, a Vancouver suburb with a large Sikh population. He was a Canadian citizen who campaigned for the creation of an independent Sikh homeland carved out of India.

September 1, 2023: A Canadian trade official says Canada has paused talks on a proposed trade deal with India, an unexpected move that came about three months after both countries said they planned to strike an initial pact this year.

September 10, 2023: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveys his serious concerns about the Sikh separatist protests in Canada to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of a G20 summit in New Delhi.

September 18, 2023: Trudeau tells Parliament that Canada was “actively pursuing credible allegations” linking Indian government agents to Nijjar’s murder.

September 19, 2023: India dismisses Trudeau’s claim as “absurd”. Each country expels a diplomat, with Canada kicking out India’s top intelligence officer in the country, while India expels its Canadian counterpart.

September 22, 2023: India suspends issuance of new visas to Canadians and asks Ottawa to reduce its diplomatic presence in India. India resumes issuing visas two months later.

October 29, 2023: Tens of thousands of Sikhs descend on Surrey, British Columbia, at the same gurdwara where Nijjar was murdered to vote in an unofficial referendum on the creation of an independent Sikh state.

November 21, 2024: India’s counter-terrorism agency files a case against Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a Sikh separatist, alleging that he warned Air India passengers in video messages on social media that their lives were in danger.

November 22, 2024: A senior Biden administration official says US authorities have foiled a plot to kill Pannun in the United States and issued a warning to India over concerns the government in New Delhi was involved.

February 5, 2024: India’s High Commissioner says in an interview with Canadian newspaper Globe & Mail that India will not provide information to Canadian investigators about Nijjar’s murder until Canada shares evidence.

April 30, 2024: The White House describes as serious a Washington Post report that an Indian intelligence officer was directly involved in both Nijjar’s murder and the foiled plot to assassinate Pannun in the US

India’s foreign ministry said the report contained “unwarranted and baseless allegations.”

(Compiled by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Josie Kao)