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3 held by Canadian police in Nijjar murder case belong to Bishnoi gang: report

The three Indians arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on Friday (May 3) for the murder of Khalistan separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, British Columbia are part of a hit squad of the infamous Lawrence Bishnoi gang, says one CBC News report.

Kamalpreet Singh, Karanpreet Singh and Karan Brar, who had been in Canada on a temporary visa since 2021, were arrested in Edmonton and are now charged with murder and conspiracy, the report said.

Police are also actively investigating their connection to three additional murders, including an 11-year-old son of Harpreet Uppal who was also shot dead in his vehicle in broad daylight in Edmonton on November 9, 2023. Before them, Sukhdool Singh Gill, 39, alias Sukha Duneke, was also shot dead on September 20, 2023. Sukha Duneke is said to be a member of the Davinder Bambiha gang in India.

‘It doesn’t stop here’

“This investigation does not end here. We are aware that others may have played a role in this murder and we remain committed to finding and arresting each of these individuals,” said Supt. Mandeep Mooker, the officer in charge of the BC RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, was quoted as saying.

Quoting sources, the report said investigators probing Nijjar’s murder had put the three Indians under the scanner after identifying them several months ago.

Police suggested others involved in the killing could be arrested in the coming days.

When asked about the alleged links between the three and the Indian government, Deputy Commissioner David Teboul declined to comment. However, Teboul stated that they were “investigating ties with the Indian government,” the report said.

Teboul also did not rule out the presence of Indian ‘sleeping agents’ on Canadian soil.

While congratulating the RCMP on arresting the three Indians involved in the case, federal Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc said, “The work does not end here. In fact, the work continues.”

Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, was shot on the evening of June 18 last year as he emerged from the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey after prayers.

According to the report, Canadian authorities had in August informed representatives of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Indian government of intelligence linking the government to Nijjar’s murder.

Diplomatic argument

A month later, on September 18, 2023, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated in the House of Commons that Canadian security services were actively pursuing credible allegations of a possible link between agents of the Indian government and Nijjar’s murder. “Any involvement of a foreign government in the murder of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” Trudeau said.

His accusation sparked a fierce diplomatic row between India and his country, with the Indian government banning the issuance of visas to Canada and reducing Canadian diplomatic staff on Indian soil.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar initially called the accusation absurd even as he accused the country of harboring anti-India elements.

However, his tone and tenor took on a less confrontational tinge after the United States alleged that an unnamed Indian government official was involved in Nijjar’s killing. “We have always maintained that if any country, not just Canada, has concerns and gives us any input or basis for those concerns, we are always open to looking into them,” Jaishankar said.