Ottawa [Canada], September 23 (ANI): Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday (local time) said that Ottawa had shared allegations regarding the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar with India weeks ago.
While addressing a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Trudeau said, “In regards to India, Canada has shared the credible allegations that I talked about on Monday. With India, we did that many weeks ago. We are there to work constructively with India and we hope that they engage with us so that we can get to the bottom of this very serious matter.”
On Monday, Justin Trudeau alleged India’s role behind the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar resulting in flaring up of tensions between the two nations. India on Tuesday rejected such allegations calling them ‘absurd’ and ‘motivated’.
Ministry of External Affairs in a press release said that Canadian PM Justin Trudeau had made similar allegations to PM Narendra Modi and they were “completely rejected.”
MEA in a press release said, “We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister. Allegations of the Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated.”
It further said, “Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister, and were completely rejected.”
India on Tuesday expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a reciprocal move to Canada expelling a senior Indian diplomat in light of the claim of New Delhi’s involvement in the killing of the wanted separatist leader.
On Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that the allegations made by Canada regarding the “potential links” of India behind the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar are “politically driven”.
“Yes, I do think there is a degree of prejudice here. They have made allegations and taken action against them. To us, it seems that these allegations by the government of Canada are primarily politically driven,” Bagchi said while addressing a weekly presser.
The MEA spokesperson further said no information has been shared by Canada regarding the killing of Nijjar.
“We are willing to look at any specific information that is provided to us, but so far we have received no specific information from Canada,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday answering queries.
In his news conference in New York on Thursday, the Canadian Prime Minister, however, failed to present any evidence to back Canadian claims. Trudeau was repeatedly quizzed on the nature of the allegations but stuck to reiterating that there were “credible reasons” to believe that India was linked to the death of Nijjar.
“There are credible reasons to believe that agents of the Government of India were involved in the killing of a Canadian on Canadian soil. That is …there is something of utmost foundational importance in a country’s rule of law in a world where international rules-based order matters” said Trudeau.
“We call upon the Government of India to take seriously this matter and to work with us to shed full transparency and ensure accountability and justice in this matter” he added.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the chief of Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) — a Sikh extremist organisation banned by India — and a “designated terrorist” was gunned down in Canada’s Surrey in June. (ANI)
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