HomeLatest NewsCanadian police make arrests in Hardeep Singh Nijjar assassination investigation

Canadian police make arrests in Hardeep Singh Nijjar assassination investigation

LONDON: In a huge development, the Canadian police have arrested members of the Indian government-backed hit squad, that the investigators believe, was tasked by the Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), with killing prominent Sikh For Justice (SFJ) and Khalistan Referendum Canada leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, British Columbia, last June.

In a press conference, Minister of Public Safety Dominic LeBlanc confirmed Canadian Police have charged three men with first-degree murder in connection to Nijjar’s death.

The arrested suspects include Karanpreet Singh, Kamalpreet Singh, and Karan Brar. They are also facing one count each of conspiracy to murder in connection to a May 1 offence in Edmonton and Surrey.

Sources close to the investigation also told CBC News that police are actively investigating possible links to three additional murders in Canada, including the shooting death of an 11-year-old boy in Edmonton, but the main focus was Nijjar.

The SFJ founder and leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who has survived a high-profile Indian hit plan, also confirmed the news of the arrest.

He said on X: “This New India comes into your home to kill you. Canadian police have arrested members of an alleged hit squad tasked by the Modi Government with the killing of Khalistan Referendum Coordinator and President of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, Shaheed Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, B.C. on June 18, 2023.”

Members of the hit squad are alleged to have played different roles as shooters, drivers and spotters on the day Nijjar was killed at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, according to the sources.

The men were arrested during police operations in at least two provinces. Sources said investigators identified the alleged hit squad members in Canada some months ago and have been keeping them under tight surveillance, an intelligence source said.

The sources told CBC News that the men arrested Friday in relation to Nijjar’s killing are Indian citizens, who arrived in Canada on temporary visas after 2021, some of them student visas. None are believed to have pursued education during their time in Canada or obtained permanent residency.

All are alleged associates of a criminal group in Punjab and neighbouring Haryana state that is associated with notorious Punjabi gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, currently held in India’s high-security Sabarmati prison in Ahmedabad, in Gujarat, according to sources close to the investigation.

Hardeep Nijjar, a 45-year-old Canadian citizen, was shot dead on June 18, shortly after evening prayers at his Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, BC, in what appeared to be a highly coordinated attack, according to video of the incident obtained by CBC’s The Fifth Estate programme.

The Fifth Estate shows how the killing of a Sikh Canadian activist was carried out, allegedly by agents of the government of India. That programme has been banned on YouTube in India.

Canadian officials have told representatives of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in person that Canada had intelligence linking it to Nijjar’s killing.

On September 18, 2023, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rose in the House of Commons to state that “Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the government of India” and Nijjar’s killing.

“Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” he added.

PM Trudeau said any foreign government involvement in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is “an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty”.

During a roundtable with Canadian Punjabi media on Sunday, Trudeau said the work by intelligence and police agencies was ongoing.

“It is very good and rigorous work. And when the time comes for them to conclude that investigation, there will be some very, very clear things that everyone around the world, including in India, will see as to responsibilities and involvement,” he said.

According to both an unsealed US federal indictment and Canadian investigators, the Indian government itself took advantage of criminal networks to go after its enemies in Canada and the US: Hardeep Nijjar and Khalistani activist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

Canadian and US sources have said both Hardeep Singh Nijjar and Pannun were targeted for their role in organising the Khalistan Referendum voting, attended by tens of thousands of Sikhs.

Nijjar was the chief coordinator of the Khalistan Referendum campaign in Canada and a close associate of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. Nijjar, Pannun, UK-based Paramjeet Singh Pamma and others had been designated terrorists by the Indian government in 2020.

Moreover, Nijjar was also the president of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in British Columbia — Canada’s biggest Gurdawara.

The Khalistan Referendum voting campaign is being organised under the supervision of the independent Punjab Referendum Commission (PRC), which will announce the results when all phases are completed.

The voting started on October 31, 2021, from London, UK and has so far been held in several cities across the UK, Geneva Switzerland, Rome and Milan (Italy), Australian cities of Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney; and Canadian cities of Brampton, Mississauga, Malton (Ontario), Vancouver (British Columbia) and two states in the USA.

The next phase of the referendum is planned for Calgary in Canada at the end of June.

Rate This Article:
No comments

leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.