Nijjar killing: US envoy confirms Canada received Five Eyes intel against India | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Hardeep Nijjar killing: US envoy confirms Canada got ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence against India. Top updates

Sep 24, 2023 06:38 AM IST

India-Canada News Updates: Justin Trudeau claimed that Canada shared with India "weeks ago" evidence that it may have been behind the killing of Hardeep Nijjar.

US ambassador to Canada David Cohen has claimed that “shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners” had informed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of the possible involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistan separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a news conference in Ottawa.(Bloomberg)
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a news conference in Ottawa.(Bloomberg)

Nijjar, a designated terrorist, was gunned down outside a Gurdwara he led in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, in June.

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The ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence-sharing alliance include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

India and Canada's relationship saw its lowest point after Trudeau said on Monday that there were “credible allegations” of Indian involvement in the killing of Nijjar – the allegation India has outrightly rejected.

Since then both countries have expelled some top diplomats.

Latest updates on India vs Canada diplomatic tensions:

1. In an interview with CTV News network, David Cohen said, “There was shared intelligence among ‘Five Eyes’ partners that helped lead Canada to (make) the statements that the prime minister made.”

“He (Cohen) made this comment while denying a Washington Post report alleging that weeks before Trudeau’s bombshell declaration, Ottawa asked its closest allies, including the US to publicly condemn the murder and that overture was rebuffed,” the CTV said.

“Very bluntly, I will say that — and you know me well enough — that I’m not in the habit of commenting on private diplomatic conversations… Look, I will say this was a matter of shared intelligence information… There was a lot of communication between Canada and the United States about this, and I think that’s as far as I’m comfortable going,” Cohen was quoted as saying.

2. Cohen's comments came hours after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US is “deeply concerned” about the allegations raised by Trudeau against India and Washington was “closely coordinating” with Ottawa on the issue and wants to see “accountability” in the case. Speaking at a press conference in New York on Friday, Blinken said the US has engaged directly with the Indian government on the issue and the most productive thing would be the completion of this investigation.

3. Earlier, Trudeau claimed that Canada shared with India "many weeks ago" evidence that it may have been behind the killing of Nijjar on Canadian soil and wants New Delhi to commit constructively with Ottawa to establish the facts in the “very serious matter”. He, however, did not elaborate on the evidence that he says has been shared with India.

4. On Saturday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) confiscated the property of banned outfit Sikhs for Justice’s chief Gurpatwant Singh Pannu at his ancestral village of Khankot in Amritsar and Chandigarh. Official sources said a property confiscation notice was put up outside Pannu’s house in Sector 15, Chandigarh. The action was taken under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. The NIA confiscated 26 kanals of agricultural land belonging to Pannu at Khankot in Amritsar in connection with a terror case registered in 2020. Pannu, who is facing around 22 criminal cases in Punjab, including three of sedition, is known to be operating from Canada.

5. On Thursday, Trudeau said Canada was not looking to “provoke or cause problems” with India as he urged New Delhi to take the matter “extremely seriously” and work with Ottawa to “uncover the truth”.

6. CBC News, citing sources, reported on Thursday that the Canadian government has amassed both human and signals intelligence in a months-long investigation of Nijjar's death. The intelligence includes communications involving Indian officials themselves, including Indian diplomats present in Canada, according to Canadian government sources. Canada's allegations of India's involvement in the killing are based on both human and signals intelligence and inputs from an ally from Ottawa’s Five Eye intelligence network, the report claimed.

7. New Delhi has suspended visa services for Canadian nationals indefinitely amid heightened tensions between the two countries even as Ottawa said it was temporarily adjusting staff presence in India to ensure the safety of diplomats following threats received on social media.

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