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Sikh Identity | Clear intel on India's role in Nijjar's killing; fear of Sikhs being targeted real: Jagmeet Singh

IANS | Updated on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 09:08 AM IST

TORONTO: Canadian Sikh MP Jagmeet Singh said the country has "clear" and "credible intelligence" that lays out that a foreign government was involved in the killing of its citizen and pro-Khalistan hardliner Hardeep Singh Nijjar, and that the fear of Sikhs being targeted in Canada is a "very real".

Stating that he received two intelligence briefings, including one from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Singh told reporters on Tuesday: "I can confirm what the prime minister has shared publicly -- that there is clear intelligence that Canada has that lays out the following case that a Canadian citizen was killed on Canadian soil and a foreign government was involved."

"That intelligence is something that I think is very credible," Singh, the leader of New Democratic Party (NDP), an ally of the ruling Liberal Party, said.

Trudeau’s Liberal, which is short of the majority mark in the 338-member House of Commons, depends on Singh's NDP for survival.

The leader, who is perceived as a Khalistan supporter in India, said that the fear of Sikhs being targeted in Canada is a "very real fear".

"For a long time, members of the Sikh community have been have been targeted by actions of the Indian government, and for a long time that has gone often unnoticed or unrecognised," he said.

"For a lot of people hearing the Prime Minister of a G7 nation provide intelligence that connects the killing of a Canadian on Canadian soil by foreign government really confirmed a lot of the fears that people have felt and it made those fears even more real and more tangible. So it is very hurtful and harmful to a lot of people who have now really felt validated but also are more free than ever."

He also claimed that members of other diaspora communities from India, who have been targeted because of their human rights activism, also "share that fear", and are critical of "Indian government or the government policies".

"I speak of other religious minority communities like Muslims, other communities that are oppressed like women and groups that are from low caste backgrounds or tribal backgrounds who've expressed very deep concerns about the treatment that they've received. They're also feeling that real sense of fear and worry," he claimed.

Earlier, Singh had spoken to his constituents, promising to get to the bottom of the truth behind Nijjar’s murder just after Trudeau’s allegations against India.

On being asked about the public release of the evidence, Singh said that information will be made public in an appropriate manner, and doing it early "would jeopardise the investigation and jeopardise the work that's being done".

"This is unprecedented intelligence that has come forward and that is why we're going to continue to urge that the Canadian government have a thorough investigation that those responsible are brought forward," the NDP leader said.

Singh told reporters that he was able to request the briefing on the matter because of the top-secret security clearance he obtained to review foreign-interference materials prepared by former governor general David Johnston, the CTV news channel reported.

Relations between India and Canada nosedived after allegations levelled by Trudeau over the involvement of officials of Indian agencies in the murder case of Nijjar, who was shot dead outside a gurdwara in Surrey in June.

Calling the claims "absurd", India's government has accused Canada of not providing evidence to back up its claim.

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