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Sikh groups ask Canadian political parties to hold ‘united front’ against India

Trudeau says intelligence points to Indian government playing part in killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, walks past Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at Raj Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation site, during the G20 Summit in New Delhi, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Two groups in the Canadian Sikh diaspora are calling for Canada’s political parties to “present a united front” on India after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a “potential link” between the shooting death of a local leader and the Indian government.

In a joint statement, the Ontario Gurdwaras Committee and the British Columbia Gurdwaras Council say that “Canadian parties of all stripes must be unequivocally clear” about their opposition to possible foreign interference relating to the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June.

Trudeau revealed in Parliament on Sept. 18 that Canadian intelligence services were investigating possible ties between the Indian government and the fatal shooting of Nijjar in Surrey, B.C., outside of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara.

India, which had issued an arrest warrant against Nijjar for his advocacy for an independent Sikh state, has denied the accusation as “absurd and motivated.”

Federal leaders have spoken out against possible Indian involvement in Nijjar’s death, with Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre saying shortly after Trudeau’s announcement that Canada “must be united for our home and for each other” while asking the prime minister to present “more facts” surrounding the case.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who is himself a Sikh, said he has written directly to Quebec Court of Appeal Justice Marie-Josee Hogue to ask for the inclusion of India in Canada’s inquiry into foreign interference.

Hogue is leading the 16-month inquiry that is expected to delve into alleged meddling into Canadian affairs by countries such as China and Russia.

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The Canadian Press