TORONTO: Canada expelled a top Indian diplomat Monday as it investigates what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called credible allegations that India’s government may have had links to the assassination in Canada of a Sikh activist.
Trudeau said in Parliament that Canadian intelligence agencies have been looking into the allegations after Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a strong supporter of an independent Sikh homeland known as Khalistan, was gunned down June 18 outside a Sikh cultural center in Surrey, British Columbia.
The prime minister told Parliament that he brought up the slaying with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Group of 20 major economies’ summit last week. He also said he told Modi that any Indian government involvement would be unacceptable and that he asked for cooperation in the investigation.
Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said the head of Indian intelligence in Canada has been expelled as a consequence.
“If proven true this would be a great violation of our sovereignty and of the most basic rule of how countries deal with each other,” Joly said. “As a consequence we have expelled a top Indian diplomat.”
The Indian Embassy in Ottawa did not immediately answer phone calls seeking comment.