Hardeep Singh Nijjar: What We Know About The Khalistani Terrorist Who Found A Safe Haven In Canada
The leader of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), Hardeep Singh Nijjar, was fatally shot on 18 June outside a gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia.
Nijjar, who was one of India's most-wanted terrorists, was targeted by two unidentified gunmen.
Originally hailing from Bharsinghpur village in Punjab's Jalandhar district, Nijjar had been residing in Surrey, where the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had declared him an 'absconder'.
At the time of his demise, this 45-year-old fugitive carried a hefty cash reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head.
In July 2020, Nijjar was officially designated as a 'terrorist' under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, prompting the NIA to seize his properties in India in September 2020.
An Interpol Red Corner Notice had been issued against him in 2016.
Significantly, Nijjar held a prominent role in the Khalistan movement, and he was actively involved in organising an unofficial referendum in India advocating for an independent Sikh state at the time of his demise.
The local authorities in Surrey had previously placed Nijjar under temporary house arrest in 2018 due to suspicions of his involvement in terrorist activities, but he was subsequently released.
During a session in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau disclosed that Canada is actively investigating credible allegations linking Indian government to Nijjar's murder.
India has dismissed Canada's allegations of involvement in Nijjar's murder as "absurd and motivated." Instead, India calls upon Canada to take legal action against anti-Indian elements operating from its territory.
The diplomatic relations between New Delhi and Ottawa have encountered further strain due to an ongoing dispute over Sikh separatist activities in Canada. This discord now threatens trade ties and has led to the suspension of talks on a proposed trade agreement.
Trudeau's latest move comes after mounting troubles at home, with his party's popularity at its lowest since it gained power, and the failure of his latest trip to India for the G20 Summit, during which he was snubbed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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