Accused in Nijjar killing face BC court, remain in detention | World News - Hindustan Times
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Accused in Nijjar killing face BC court, remain in detention

May 22, 2024 12:51 PM IST

This marked the first appearance of all four Indian nationals before the BC provincial court in Surrey

Toronto: Three of the four accused in the killing of pro-Khalistan figure Hardeep Singh Nijjar, appeared in person before a court in British Columbia on Tuesday. The fourth accused also appeared, virtually, and all four will continue in detention till the next hearing in June.

A photo of Hardeep Singh Nijjar is seen during a news conference providing an update from the Sikh community about Nijjar's homicide from June 18, 2023 in Surrey, British Columbia, on May 3. (AP)
A photo of Hardeep Singh Nijjar is seen during a news conference providing an update from the Sikh community about Nijjar's homicide from June 18, 2023 in Surrey, British Columbia, on May 3. (AP)

This was the first appearance by all four, all Indian nationals, before the BC provincial court in Surrey.

Clothed in prison garb, Karan Brar, 22, Kamalpreet Singh, 22, and Karanpreet Singh, 28, all from Edmonton and being held in BC, were present in person before the judge, while 22-year-old Amandeep Singh appeared from Ontario where he is in custody.

The judge presiding over the hearing Emmet Duncan set their next date for June 25, according to a report in the outlet Surrey Now Leader.

The prosecutor explained that the adjournment was due to “disclosure obligations” or for providing the lawyers for the defendants with material related to the cases against them.

As was the case with their previous appearances, pro-Khalistan elements gathered outside the courthouse and displayed anti-India signs and separatist flags.

Amandeep Singh made his first court appearance on May 15, while the other three appeared before a judge on May 7. Tuesday was the first time all four appeared before a judge. All four are facing charges related to first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Amandeep Singh was already in custody of the Peel Regional Police or PRP when he was named in the Nijjar case. He was arrested in November 2023 on nine charges including those related to unauthorised possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance.

The others were arrested from in and around Edmonton on May 3 and brought to British Columbia for the trial.

Canadian investigators have not, as yet, announced any link to the Indian Government in relation to the murder. However, on May 3, Assistant Commissioner David Teboul, Commander of the Federal Policing Program in the Pacific Region, said there were “separate and distinct investigations ongoing” including “investigating connections to the Government of India.” A day later, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the investigations were “ongoing.”

The killing of Nijjar on June 18, in Surrey, British Columbia, caused India-Canada relations to rupture after Trudeau’s statement in the House of Commons three months later that there were “credible allegations” of a potential link between Indian agents and the murder. India reacted by saying those charges were “absurd” and “motivated.”

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