Canada rounds up ‘ISI-backed’ Sikh hardliner
Canadian authorities have reportedly ‘rounded up’ and ‘questioned’ Hardip Singh Nijjar, Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)-backed Sikh hardliner, for allegedly running training camps for terrorists. Indian authorities had issued a look-out circular against Nijjar on January 23, 2015.
Punjab Police have Nijjar on its list of most-wanted Khalistanis. His name was also on the list of nine wanted Khalistanis that chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh had given to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his recent India visit.
Intelligence wing officials with the Punjab Police claim that Canada questioning Nijjar was a big diplomatic win and had resulted due to the pressure that the state had created.
“Nijjar was rounded up on the basis of crucial intelligence input that the Indian government provided. He was released after questioning and is now under strict vigil for his anti-India activities,” a police source said.
Reports from Delhi suggest that over the last week, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has registered a case against Nijjer for anti-India activities. Police also claim that Nijjar had been organising training camps in the Canadian province of British Columbia at the behest of the ISI.
Nijjar has refuted the allegations. Born in 1977, he is from Jalandhar district and is now based in Surrey, Canada. He is wanted in Punjab in various cases, including a bomb blast near a temple in Patiala in 2010. He is also accused of hatching a conspiracy for a Khalistani terror module that has killed various Hindu leaders in Punjab over the past two years.
In interviews available online, Nijjar has denied any links with the Pakistani spy agency and has instead claimed that Indian agencies had been framing him.