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India says Canada yet to provide evidence of its involvement in Nijjar killing

The killing of the Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar last year set off a diplomatic spat
A person walks past signs showing Hardeep Singh Nijjar at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, B.C., on Friday, May 3, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns

India said Thursday that Canada has informed it about the arrest of three Indian men who have been charged with the murder of a Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia last year, but insisted that no relevant information or specific evidence about Delhi’s involvement has been shared by the Canadian authorities till date.

India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesman Randhir Jaiswal told reporters that the two countries were discussing the issue but accused Canada of providing shelter to those who are advocating violence against India.

He said that Delhi had complained to the Canadian authorities that the people associated with organized crime in India had been allowed entry and residency in Canada. “Many of our extradition requests are pending.”

“Our diplomats have been threatened with impunity and obstructed in their performance of duties,” Jaiswal added. We are having discussions at the diplomatic level on all these matters,” he said.

The killing of the Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar last year set off a diplomatic spat after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that there were “credible allegations” of Indian involvement. India rejected the accusations.

The three arrested Indian men in Canada haven’t yet sought any access to the Indian diplomats there, Jaiswal said.

READ MORE: Three Edmonton men charged in Hardeep Singh Nijjar murder

The three — Kamalpreet Singh, 22, Karan Brar, 22, and Karanpreet Singh, 28 — appeared in court Tuesday via a video link and agreed to a trial in English. They were ordered to appear in British Columbia Provincial Court again on May 21.

They were arrested last week in Edmonton, Alberta. They have been charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Canadian Mounted Police Superintendent Mandeep Mooker said Friday that the investigation into whether the men had ties to India’s government was ongoing.

The three suspects had been living in Canada as non-permanent residents.

Ashok Sharma, The Associated Press