Factbox-What led to Canada's arrests over killing of Sikh separatist?

FILE PHOTO: Protest outside India’s consulate in Toronto
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Canadian police on Friday charged three people linked to the murder of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in the province of British Columbia in June 2023, a source directly familiar with the matter said.

The following is a timeline of key events leading up to the arrests in a killing that has frayed relations between Canada and India.

June 18, 2023: Nijjar, 45, is shot dead outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, a Vancouver suburb with a large Sikh population. He was a Canadian citizen campaigning for the creation of an independent Sikh homeland carved out of India.

Sept. 1, 2023: A Canadian trade official says Canada paused talks on a proposed trade treaty with India, an unexpected move that came about three months after both countries said they planned to seal an initial pact this year.

Sept. 10, 2023: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveys strong concerns about Sikh separatist protests in Canada to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of a G20 summit in New Delhi.

Sept. 18, 2023: Trudeau tells parliament that Canada was "actively pursuing credible allegations" linking Indian government agents to the killing of Nijjar.

Sept. 19, 2023: India dismisses Trudeau's assertion as "absurd". Each country expels a diplomat in tit-for-tat moves, with Canada throwing out India's top intelligence officer in the country while India expelled his Canadian counterpart.

Sept. 22, 2023: India suspends issuing new visas for Canadians and asks Ottawa to reduce its diplomatic presence in India. India resumes issuing visas two months later.

Oct. 29, 2023: Tens of thousands of Sikhs turn out in Surrey, British Columbia, at the same gurdwara where Nijjar was killed to vote in an unofficial referendum on the creation of an independent Sikh state.

Nov. 21, 2024: India's anti-terror agency files a case against Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a Sikh separatist, stating that he warned Air India passengers in video messages shared on social media that their lives were in danger.

Nov. 22, 2024: A senior Biden administration official says U.S. authorities thwarted a plot to kill Pannun in the United States and issued a warning to India over concerns the government in New Delhi was involved.

Feb. 5, 2024: India's High Commissioner says in an interview with Canada's Globe & Mail newspaper that India will not provide information to Canadian investigators over Nijjar's murder until Canada shares evidence.

April 30, 2024: The White House describes as a serious matter a Washington Post report that an officer in India's intelligence service was directly involved in both Nijjar's killing and the foiled plot to kill Pannun in the U.S.

India's foreign ministry said the report contained "unwarranted and unsubstantiated imputations."

(Compiled by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Josie Kao)