News Brief

"Cannot Ignore": Trudeau Considers Nijjar's Killing "Problem" Between India-Canada, Supports 'Peaceful' Khalistan Movement

Nishtha Anushree

May 02, 2024, 01:36 PM | Updated 01:36 PM IST


Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, walks past Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at Raj Ghat (Representative Image)
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, walks past Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at Raj Ghat (Representative Image)

Days after 'Khalistan Zindabad' slogans were raised in the presence of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he extended his support to the secessionist movement if it remains peaceful.

Trudeau opened up about his views on relations with India in an interview aired on Y Media network on Wednesday (1 May) evening, where he acknowledged Nijjar's killing as a problem.

"Canada and India are the world’s two largest democracies, us by size, them by population. And we should be able to get along," he said adding that Hardeep Singh Nijjar's killing cannot be ignored.

Khalistani terrorist Nijjar was killed in British Columbia's Surrey on 18 June last year and Trudeau accused India of being involved in the killing in September. Since then, relations between the two countries have deteriorated.

Expressing support to Khalistan movement prevalent in Canada, Trudeau said, "You get to support whatever beliefs you have, that’s part of what makes Canada a free country."

Notably, Trudeau was seen smiling while walking on the stage when pro-Khalistan slogans were raised on the occasion of Khalsa Day Celebrations on Sunday in Toronto.

While India objected to such slogans being raised and Canada’s Deputy High Commissioner was summoned, Trudeau said, "Our job is not to crack down on political protest, that’s something we allow in Canada."

Asserting that concerns about violence and criminality will be taken "seriously", Trudeau said, "We will not go after people because they’re saying things that the Indian government doesn’t like."

Considering India "an important partner", Trudeau hoped to get through the "challenging situation" created due to Nijjar's murder and asked India to ensure accountability.


Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

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