Canada’s conflict with India over the Khalistani issue has reached an extreme level. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau blamed India for the killing of the dead Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. A top Indian diplomat posted in Canada was also expelled. Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the dead militant who is the subject of so much controversy, was on India’s ‘most wanted’ militant list. The price of his head was 10 lakhs. He had 4 cases filed against him by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Canadian intelligence suspects the involvement of Indian agents behind the Khalistani leader’s murder. And soon a senior Indian diplomat was expelled from Canada. Khalistani Tiger Force (KTF) chief Nijjar was shot dead by two unidentified assailants outside a Gurdwara in Canada on June 18 this year.
This Hardeep Singh Nijjar was also the president of the Gurdwara. In 1977, the Khalistani leader took refuge in Canada using a fake passport. Went there and married a Canadian woman. Nijjar was declared a terrorist by the Indian government in 2020. According to Indian intelligence sources, Nijjar used to recruit youths into the Khalistani Tiger Force and train them in weapons. Hardeep used to brainwash the youth and give them militant training. Hardeep Singh Nijjar is also known to be associated with the separatist outfit Sikhs for Justice (SFJ).
AIA had four cases against Hardeep. He was accused of conspiracy to kill a Hindu priest along with Khalistani Yoga. In July last year, the NIA had set a price of Rs 10 lakh for Hardeep’s head. It is known that Hardeep was the head of the Khalistan Tiger Force. Gurpatwant Singh Pannun’s ‘Sikhs for Justice’ organization was responsible for promoting the views of the Tiger Force in Hardeep.
A referendum in favor of Khalistan was organized in Canada on the demand of this organization of Hardeep. About seven thousand Sikhs living in Canada participated in it. According to a source in the Ministry of External Affairs, SFJ founder Gurpatwant Singh Pannun was present in that referendum. In November last year, Ontario, Canada called for a rally and referendum. New Delhi labeled the initiative as a direct ‘terrorist activity’. The diplomatic warning sent to the Prime Minister of Canada said that separatists have started trying to divide India by using that country’s soil. But even after that the referendum was held.
In 2018, then Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh handed over a list of most wanted persons to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Hardeep Singh Nijjar was also named there. In 2017, it was alleged that Nijjar was involved in the Ludhiana blast in Punjab. 42 people were injured in the explosion. Earlier, in 2010, there was a bomb blast near a temple in Patiala. There is evidence of the involvement of Britain’s Khalistani Nata Paramjing Singh Pama in that incident. Indian intelligence speculates that the blast was carried out on Nijjar’s orders. A case was also filed against Hardeep Singh Nijjar for murdering a Hindu leader in 2016. Government of India had issued Lookout Circular and Red Corner Notice against Nijjar.
Last year, the NIA had announced a price of Rs 10 lakh on the head of Nijjar, accused of conspiracy to kill a Hindu priest in Jalandhar. Investigators claimed that Hardeep was working to pass a proposal for partition of Khalistan among Sikhs in Canada. Meanwhile, the same Gurdwara where Hardeep was murdered recently passed a pro-Khalistan resolution. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in India when the proposal was passed. On September 18, 2022, Hardeep’s organization held a rally in Brampton, Canada, demanding the state of Khalistan. New Delhi alleged that Pakistan’s spy agency ISI was behind it. After the killing of Hardeep, the relationship between India and Canada has reached an extreme over the Khalistan issue. Diplomats feel that the cold war in India-Canada diplomatic relations can go a long way.