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Monday May 20, 2024

Blinken urges India to cooperate in Canada's probe of Hardeep Singh Nijjar murder

Canada has accused Indian agents of involvement in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, which took place near Vancouver in June

By Web Desk
September 23, 2023
Blinken urges India to cooperate in Canadas probe of Hardeep Singh Nijjar murder. AFP/File
Blinken urges India to cooperate in Canada's probe of Hardeep Singh Nijjar murder. AFP/File

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has appealed to India to cooperate with Canada in the investigation of the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian Sikh separatist. 

Canada has accused Indian agents of involvement in the killing, which took place near Vancouver in June. 

Blinken stressed the importance of accountability and allowing the investigation to run its course during a press briefing at the UN General Assembly.

"We want to see accountability. And it's important that the investigation run its course and lead to that result," Blinken said, underscoring the gravity of "transnational repression" as a broader issue.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had previously called on India to assist in the probe, alleging Indian government agents' role in Nijjar's murder. 

Nijjar was a Canadian citizen wanted by India on charges of terrorism and conspiracy to commit murder. He was associated with the Khalistan movement, advocating for a separate Sikh homeland.

In response to Canada's accusations, India took diplomatic actions, reducing its embassy staff in Canada and suspending visa services. 

The United States, which has been fostering stronger ties with India, expressed its concern. US national security adviser Jake Sullivan stressed that India would receive no "special exemption" in this matter.

President Joe Biden recently hosted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a state visit, highlighting the importance of the US-India relationship. 

When asked about the potential impact of this incident on bilateral relations, Sullivan asserted that the US would stand up for its principles regardless of the country involved.

Canada, actively pursuing credible allegations linking Indian government agents to Nijjar's murder, maintains close communication with the United States. 

Sullivan also dismissed impression of a rift between the US and Canada, stressing their shared concerns and commitment to seeing the investigation through and holding perpetrators accountable.

"We have deep concerns about the allegations, and we would like to see this investigation carried forward and the perpetrators held to account," Sullivan affirmed.

The situation remains tense, with diplomatic efforts underway to address the issue between Canada, India, and the United States.