India denies allegations of involvement in Canadian citizen’s death

New Delhi, Sept 19, (dpa/GNA) – India rejected Ottawa’s accusation it was involved in the alleged murder of a Canadian citizen, calling the claims “absurd” on Tuesday before expelling a senior diplomat.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on Monday said there were “credible allegations” linking the Indian government to the death of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

The Indian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, allegations the Indian government was involved in any act of violence in Canada were “absurd and motivated.”

“Unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada, and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the statement continued, referring to the Sikh political ideology, calling for the creation of an autonomous Sikh homeland known as Khalistan.

The ministry added that Canada’s “inaction” had been a “long-standing and continuing concern.”

“We urge the Government of Canada to take prompt and effective legal action against all anti-India elements, operating from their soil,” the statement concluded.

Shortly after, the Indian Foreign Ministry issued another statement, saying that a senior Canadian diplomat was asked to leave India within “the next five days.”

“The decision reflects Government of India’s growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters, and their involvement in anti-India activities,” the statement said.

Trudeau had told the Canadian parliament that security agencies had been “actively pursuing credible allegations, of a potential link between agents of the government of India” and the killing of Nijjar.

Nijjar, a well-known advocate for an independent Sikh state on Indian territory, was shot dead in June outside a Sikh cultural centre in the Canadian town of Surrey.

Ottawa had expressed deep concern to top intelligence and security circles of the Indian government, Trudeau said. He had also directly addressed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, about the incident at the recent G20 summit.