Sikh leader murder: 3 Indians accused in Canadian court

Afroza Hossain

The accused are Karanpreet Singh, Kamalpreet Singh and Karan Brar

Three Indians arrested for killing Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar have been produced in court. They made a brief appearance in a British Columbia court on Tuesday. On Friday, the Canadian police arrested the three accused Indians from the city of Edmonton, Alberta. The killing last year sparked a diplomatic crisis between Canada and India.

British news agency Reuters reported this news.

Three Indians, Karanpreet Singh (28), Kamalpreet Singh (22) and Karan Brar (22), were arraigned via video link on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to murder. The footage shows them wearing orange prison uniforms.

Nijjar, 45, was shot dead outside a Sikh temple in suburban Vancouver in June last year. Months after the incident, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau demanded proof of the Indian government’s involvement in the Nijja massacre. This caused strain in Canada’s diplomatic relations with India.

However, India has denied any involvement in Nijjar’s murder. Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar said on Saturday that he is awaiting information from the Canadian police about the three accused.

“One of the concerns we’ve been telling them over and over is that, you know, they’ve allowed organized crime from India, particularly from Punjab, to operate in Canada,” Jaishankar said.

Nijjar was a Canadian citizen. He campaigned for the establishment of an independent state for the Sikhs in India called Khalistan. India has long been frustrated by the presence of Sikh separatist groups in Canada. The country labeled Nijjar as a ‘terrorist’.

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