Hardeep Singh Nijjar killed in British Columbia in June; Canada’s PM Trudeau vows investigation
India’s government is warning its citizens in Canada on Wednesday to “exercise utmost caution” as tensions escalate between the two countries after the murder of a Sikh activist on Canadian soil in June.
The declaration comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that Canadian intelligence agencies are investigating allegations that the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have played a role in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was gunned down outside a Sikh cultural center in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18.
“In view of growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada, all Indian nationals there and those contemplating travel are urged to exercise utmost caution,” the India Ministry of External Affairs said Wednesday in a statement.
“Recently, threats have particularly targeted Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community who oppose the anti-India agenda,” the statement continued without elaborating.
“Given the deteriorating security environment in Canada, Indian students in particular are advised to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant,” it also said.
Nijjar was a strong supporter of an independent Sikh homeland known as Khalistan. The movement is banned in India as officials see it as a national security threat. But the movement still has some support in countries like Canada and the United Kingdom, where sizable Sikh communities live.