Three Indians arrested for killing Sikh activist in Canada

Three Indian nationals have been arrested and charged in connection with the killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada last June, a case that sparked a diplomatic dispute between Canada and India.

Nijjar, 45, was fatally shot by masked gunmen in a crowded parking lot in a Vancouver suburb, prompting accusations from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the Indian government may have been involved. These allegations were vehemently denied by Delhi.

The three suspects, identified as Karan Brar, 22, Kamal Preet Singh, 22, and Karan Preet Singh, 28, were apprehended in Edmonton, Alberta, where they lived. They are charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, according to court records.

Police announced that all three individuals had lived in Canada for three to five years. The investigation is ongoing, with a focus on possible connections to the government of India. Deputy Commissioner David Teboul emphasized that additional arrests or charges may follow as the investigation continues.

Nijjar was known as a Sikh separatist leader who advocated for Khalistan, an independent Sikh homeland in India’s Punjab region. His murder at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey caused shock and outrage within the Sikh community.

Canadian intelligence services had reportedly warned Nijjar that he was on a “hit list” and that there were threats to his life.

Despite accusations of being labeled a terrorist, Nijjar’s supporters claim he was targeted because of his activism.

The progress of the investigation has been welcomed by members of the Sikh community, although public safety concerns and tensions remain.

Trudeau’s allegation of possible Indian state involvement in Nijjar’s killing sparked controversy, leading to diplomatic friction between the two nations.

India urged Canada to reduce its diplomatic presence in response to the allegations, while Trudeau was under pressure to substantiate his claims.

As the case continues to develop, it remains a central issue in the complex relationship between Canada and India, with implications for diplomatic ties and cross-border cooperation.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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