Sat, 30 Sep 2023

Vancouver [Canada], September 19 (ANI): Shortly after Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau alleged that India could be linked to the fatal shooting of Khalistan Tiger Force Chief Hardeep Nijjar, his statement was echoed by the Premier of British Columbia David Eby on Monday.

In a statement David Eby said Canadians across the country must be safe from interference of foreign governments, including being targeted for threats or physical harm, including murder.

"Canadians across the country must be safe from the interference of foreign governments, including being targeted for threats or physical harm, including murder. Our democracy depends on it," the British Columbia premier said on Monday.

Nijjar, who was wanted in India, was gunned down outside a Gurdwara, in a parking area in Canada's Surrey, British Columbia on June 18.

Hailing from Bharsinghpur village in Punjab's Jalandhar, Nijjar was based in Surrey and had been declared "absconder" by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

In July 2022 the NIA had announced a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh on Nirjar in connection with the killing of a Hindu priest in Jalandhar.

Meanwhile, British Columbia Premier David Eby said:"This afternoon, I received a further briefing from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) on these allegations. I am deeply disturbed and angered by this information.""In light of these revelations, we will do all we can to enhance protection for the people of British Columbia against the violence or threats of state actors."The British Columbia Premier called on the Canadian government to share all relevant information related to any known ongoing foreign interference and transnational organized crime threats with"our provincial authorities and our government, so we may act in co-ordination and protect those at risk." Earlier on Monday speaking in the Canadian Parliament, Justin Trudeau had said "Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the Government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar,"He stated that the involvement of a foreign hand or government in the killing of a Canadian citizen in Canada was unacceptable.

"Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty. It is contrary to the fundamental rules by which free, open, and democratic societies conduct themselves," Trudeau added.

Meanwhile, signalling a further souring of bilateral ties, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly on Monday said an Indian diplomat in the country had been expelled.

The expulsion comes in light of PM Trudeau's statement alleging an Indian hand in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

"We see this possible breach of sovereignty as completely unacceptable, and so, that is also why we're coming (out) with this information (of the expulsion of the Indian diplomat) today," Joly said at a news conference.

The allegations made by the Canadian Prime Minister and foreign minister were rejected by the Ministry of External Affairs in India which dubbed the statements as absurd.

"We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister. Allegations of Government of India's involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated" the statement said.

"Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister, and were completely rejected. We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to rule of law" the statement added. (ANI)

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