Hardeep Nijjar killing: 3 arrested Indians appear in court; Canada reiterates ‘Indian agents’ allegations | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Hardeep Nijjar killing: 3 arrested Indians appear in court; Canada reiterates ‘Indian agents’ allegations

May 08, 2024 10:59 AM IST

Hardeep Singh Nijjar murder: Karan Brar, Kamalpreet Singh, and Karanpreet Singh, all Indians residing in Edmonton, were arrested last week.

Canadian foreign minister Melanie Joly said Ottawa continues to stand by the allegations that Indian agents were involved in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar despite no evidence that shows New Delhi's involvement, even as three Indian nationals accused of killing the India-designated terrorist appeared before a Canadian court through video on Tuesday for the first time.

Karan Brar, Kamalpreet Singh and Karanpreet Singh, the three Indians charged with first-degree murder in relation to the killing of Khalistanin separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, are seen in a combination of photographs released by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT). (REUTERS)
Karan Brar, Kamalpreet Singh and Karanpreet Singh, the three Indians charged with first-degree murder in relation to the killing of Khalistanin separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, are seen in a combination of photographs released by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT). (REUTERS)

Karan Brar, 22, Kamalpreet Singh, 22, and Karanpreet Singh, 28, all Indian nationals residing in Edmonton, were arrested and charged on Friday last week with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

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Speaking to reporters, Melanie Joly said the investigation into the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar is being conducted by Royal Canadian Mounted Police. She added that Canada will continue to protect its citizens, CPAC reported.

Also Read | Canadian minister responds to Jaishankar's criticism: ‘Let him speak his mind’


“Canada's position has always been clear. Our job is to protect Canadians and we stand by the allegations that a Canadian was killed on Canadian soil by Indian agents. Now, the investigation by the RCMP is being done,” Melanie Joly said.

Her statement comes after Canadian Police announced the arrest of the three accused. However, Canadian Police personnel have also not given any evidence of any link to India as was being speculated in Canadian media.

Members of the Sikh Community from British Columbia crowded a Surrey courtroom on Tuesday as three Indian nationals accused of Hardeep Singh Nijjar's killing made their first court appearance by video, according to Globe and Mail, a Canada-based news website.

Also Read | Hardeep Nijjar's killing: US says India should take it 'seriously and probe'

As the trio, dressed in orange jumpsuits, appeared before court, pro-Khalistani protesters chanted slogans and held placards, outside the Surrey provincial court, blaming India's government for the killing.

Judge Delaram Jahani questioned the three suspects, Karan Brar, Karanpreet Singh, and Kamalpreet Singh, in brief. Through their attorneys, Brar and Karanpreet Singh decided to appear again on May 21. The court, however, is yet to decide on a new date for Kamalpreet Singh who has sought legal counsel, the Globe and Mail reported.

Each of them appeared separately from North Fraser Pretrial Centre.

Also Read | ‘Violent imagery’: India protests Khalistan float at Canada’s Khalsa Day parade

All three agreed to have the proceedings heard in English and each of them nodded that they understood the charges of first-degree murder and conspiring to murder Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

The court granted the Crown prosecutor’s request for a no-contact order naming seven people under a Canada Criminal Code section that bans the accused from communicating directly or indirectly with any of them.

Those named on the order are Nijjar’s son Balraj Nijjar, 21, and Harjinder Nijjar, Mehtab Nijjar, Sarandeep Sehaj, Harsimranjeet Singh, Arshdeep Kapoor and Malkit Singh, the report added.

If found not guilty, they could still be deported, according to a Supreme Court of Canada ruling in September in which the nine judges unanimously ruled that a foreign national could be deemed inadmissible to Canada on security grounds under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of “being a danger to the security of Canada,” according to Canadian Lawyer Magazine, the Vancouver Sun report said.

Hundreds of local Khalistan supporters showed up at the courthouse. A separate overflow room inside the courthouse was opened to accommodate an additional 50 people who wanted to witness the hearing. Another 100 or so people outside the courthouse waved Khalistan flags and carried posters supporting Sikh separatism.

Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, was shot dead outside a gurdwara in Surrey on June 18, 2023.

India had on Thursday rejected fresh comments by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the killing of Nijjar and said the remarks once again illustrated the political space given in Canada to separatism, extremism, and violence. Trudeau addressed a Khalsa Day event in Toronto on Sunday that was attended by some pro-Khalistan supporters.

The ties between India and Canada came under severe strain following Trudeau's allegations in September last year of the "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of 45-year-old Nijjar. India has dismissed Trudeau's charges as "absurd" and "motivated."

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