India wasn’t a threat to murdered Khalistan leader in Canada: Aide - Hindustan Times
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India wasn’t a threat to murdered Khalistan leader in Canada: Aide

Aug 12, 2023 12:55 AM IST

Hardeep Singh Nijjar was briefed by both the Canadian Security Intelligence Service or CSIS and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or RCMP on multiple occasions this year about threats

While separatist elements have blamed New Delhi for the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar on June 18 in Canada’s Surrey city in British Columbia, a close confidant of the Khalistani figure has said that Canadian law enforcement agencies did not mention India while briefing him on the potential threat to his life.

India was not named as the source of the threat during agencies’ interaction with Nijjar, a proponent of Khalistan, who was very close to Nijjar, told the Hindustan Times. (HT)
India was not named as the source of the threat during agencies’ interaction with Nijjar, a proponent of Khalistan, who was very close to Nijjar, told the Hindustan Times. (HT)

India was not named as the source of the threat during agencies’ interaction with Nijjar, a proponent of Khalistan, who was very close to Nijjar, told the Hindustan Times, but asked not to be named.

Nijjar was briefed by both the Canadian Security Intelligence Service or CSIS and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or RCMP on multiple occasions this year, the source said, during the course of a telephone conversation and follow-up email exchange.

Nijjar had been advised to relocate and to change his routine so that he could not be easily targeted. Nijjar had communicated these details to the source.

However, Nijjar himself and pro-Khalistan groups surmised the threat was from India. Nijjar, the secessionist outfit Sikhs for Justice’s chief in British Columbia, was alleged to be the head of the Khalistan Tiger Force by Indian law enforcement and faced several terror-related charges.

India’s National Investigation Agency or NIA had announced an award of 10 lakh in July last year for information leading to his capture. However, none of the charges against him were tested in Canadian courts and SFJ has maintained it does not use violence.

Responding to queries over the new information that India was not identified as the source the threat to Nijjar, SFJ’s general counsel Gurpatwant Pannun said he was “not privy” to the conversations between Nijjar and the Canadian agencies or “if they mentioned India’s role in death threats to Nijjar.”

However, he stood by the assertion that India was responsible for Nijjar’s “assassination.”

“The evidence leads to (an) Indian agency hiring a hitman to assassinate Nijjar including but not limited to NIA declaring reward to know the location and whereabouts of Nijjar and Indian TV Channels, without any convictions, calling Nijjar the most wanted terrorist,” he added.

Also Read: Hardeep Nijjar, designated terrorist and Khalistan supporter, shot dead in Canada

In fact, since Nijjar’s murder, pro-Khalistan groups have been running a poster campaign targeting India’s senior-most diplomats in Canada, including its High Commissioner to Ottawa Sanjay Kumar Verma.

That started with the ‘Kill India posters that first appeared in July, to their latest version with the word ‘Wanted’ under the photographs of the High Commissioner and Consul Generals in Toronto and Vancouver. In fact, during a religious parade organised by the gurdwara Nijjar headed, Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Sahib, on Sunday, several participants were seen carrying the ‘Wanted’ posters as slogans accusing India of killing Nijjar were raised. A music video tribute to Nijjar as also released on that day. It uses archival footage of Nijjar speaking, including him saying, “If they raze one of our pillars, we will raze four of theirs.” The appearance of the posters at the parade has already been flagged by India to Ottawa.

SFJ has maintained the posters do not signify a violent threat, but that the diplomats represent India in Canada and are the faces of those behind Nijjar’s murder.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team or Investigation Team or IHIT, which is probing Nijjar’s killing, has not ascribed any motive while it seeks the murderers.

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