India Told About Canadian Arrests But Awaits Further Detail

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Canadian authorities told India about the arrest of three of its nationals in connection with the murder of a prominent Sikh activist last year but haven’t shared information about the murder case or suspects, a government spokesman said in New Delhi.

“Canada has informed India about the arrest,” Randhir Jaiswal, spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, said on Thursday. “No specific or relevant evidence or information has been shared by the Canadian authorities till date.”

Last week, Canadian police charged three Indian nationals with first-degree murder in the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, British Columbia, and said they are investigating links to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. India has called the allegations of its involvement “absurd.” Nijjar is a designated terrorist under its laws.

Nijjar’s killing sparked a diplomatic clash between India and Canada, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accusing the Modi administration of orchestrating the killing.

“Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the Government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen,” Trudeau told the House of Commons last September.

Earlier this year, US authorities said they thwarted a plot to kill a Sikh activist on its soil and charged an alleged middleman with hiring a contract killer.

Jaiswal said “political interests” were at work in the Canada matter, but the two countries continue to engage on various issues at the diplomatic level. These include threats to Indian diplomats, the political space given to separatists in Canada and pending extradition requests.

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