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Trudeau on arrests related to Nijjar’s murder

Toronto: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Sunday that the investigation into the killing of Indian-designated terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar is “not limited” to the arrest of three Indian nationals and is continuing.

Trudeau said it’s important because “Canada is a rule of law country.”
The Canadian Prime Minister’s comments came days after three Indian nationals were arrested for their alleged involvement in Nijjar’s murder.

Canadian police on Saturday released photos of all three people arrested in Nijjar’s murder last year, amid an ongoing investigation into the Indian government’s alleged connections.

Police have not provided any evidence of any link with India, as speculated in the Canadian media. India has repeatedly denied the allegations, calling them “absurd and motivated.”

Speaking at the Sikh Foundation of Canada’s Centennial Gala event held Sunday at the Royal Ontario Museum, Trudeau began by acknowledging the arrests made in connection with the case, emphasizing that the investigation is still ongoing is still going on.

“I must begin, somewhat clumsily perhaps, but more importantly, to acknowledge the arrests made in connection with Nijjar’s murder. As the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) has stated, the investigation remains ongoing, as well as a separate and distinct case. investigation, not limited to the involvement of the three people arrested yesterday,” he said.

He emphasized Canada’s status as a rule of law country with a robust and independent legal system. “This is important because Canada is a rule of law country with a strong and independent legal system, as well as a fundamental commitment to protecting all its citizens. I know many Canadians, especially members of the Sikh community, are feeling uneasy and perhaps even scared right now,” Trudeau added.

Trudeau also assured that every Canadian has the fundamental right to live safely and free from discrimination and violence. He urged them to “remain calm… remain steadfast in our commitment to our democratic principles and our legal system. This is who we are and what we do as Canadians.”

A day ago, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said Canada has issued visas to people linked to organized crime despite warnings from New Delhi. Jaishankar said some people in Canada, with “pro-Pakistani leanings”, have organized themselves politically and taken the form of an influential political lobby. He said he saw reports that three people had been arrested and that Canadian police had conducted “some investigation.”

Nijjar, who was labeled a terrorist by India’s National Investigation Agency in 2020, was shot as he emerged from a Gurdwara in Surrey in June last year.

On June 18, 2023, the Surrey RCMP received a report of a shooting at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey. The first responding members located a man, later identified as Hardeep Singh Nijjar, suffering from fatal gunshot wounds inside a vehicle.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) is conducting the investigation. It has continued to work closely with a number of partner agencies and support services across Canada, as far away as eastern Ontario, including the Surrey RCMP, the Alberta RCMP and other Lower Mainland Integrated Teams.

Nijjar’s killing sparked diplomatic tensions between Canada and India after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India of involvement in the killing – a claim India has dismissed as “absurd.”
The video of his killing, which reportedly emerged in March this year, showed Nijjar being shot by gunmen in what has been described as a ‘contract killing’.