What we've been talking about...India needs to take seriously: Trudeau on US charge
Justin Trudeau commented on the US charging Indian Nikhil Gupta for ‘hire-to-murder’ and said India needs to take these seriously.
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reacted to the development of the US Department of Justice charging an Indian, Nikhil Gupta, for 'murder-for-hire' and said this is what Canada has been talking about from the beginning. India needs to take this seriously, Trudeau said. "The news coming out of the United States further underscores what we've been talking about from the very beginning, which is that India needs to take this seriously," Justin Trudeau said in Ottawa, as reported by Reuters. "The Indian government needs to work with us to ensure that we're getting to the bottom of this," he said.
The US Department of Justice on Wednesday charged Nikhil Gupta, an Indian, for working with an Indian government employee on a plot to assassinate a New York City resident, "who advocated for a Sikh sovereign state in northern India". The document did not name the "government employee", nor did it name Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the New York City resident and a designated terrorist in India. It said the government employee contacted Nikhil Gupta to assassinate Pannu. The purported killer whom Nikhil Gupta contacted for the killing was an undercover cop and Nikhil Gupta was arrested in June this year by the Czech authorities.
The document also mentioned Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the Sikh separatist killed in Canada. Justin Trudeau alleged the involvement of Indian agents behind the murder -- a charge that India rejected and sought evidence. This resulted in a diplomatic row between India and China which started seeing a little improvement as India resumed its visa services in Canada. India made it clear that Canada did not provide any evidence backing their claim and India is ready to cooperate with the probe if evidence is provided.
The MEA earlier reacted to the report of the foiled bid to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and formed a high-level enquiry committee to look into the security concerns raised by the US. No reaction has come from the MEA yet on the US indictment.
Canada foreign minister Melanie Joly on Wednesday commented on the India-Canada situation and urged India to be more forthcoming in the ongoing murder investigation. "Clearly we expect more cooperation on their part and more engagement on their part," the minister said. Canada has not yet charged anyone in the murder of Nijjar.