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Fourth Indian citizen arrested and charged in connection with Sikh activist’s murder in Canada



Amandeep Singh, a 22-year-old Indian national, has been arrested and charged by Canadian authorities for the murder of separatist Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Vancouver last year. Singh, who was already in custody for unrelated gun charges, now faces charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the case. Three other Indian nationals were also arrested earlier in Edmonton, Alberta, with authorities investigating potential ties to the Indian government. Kamalpreet Singh, Karan Brar, and Karanpreet Singh, all in their twenties, have also been charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with Nijjar’s killing.

Nijjar, 45, was shot dead outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, a Vancouver suburb with a large Sikh population, while campaigning for the creation of Khalistan, an independent Sikh homeland. India has had a history of strained relations with Sikh separatist groups in Canada and labeled Nijjar as a “terrorist.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested there may have been Indian government involvement in Nijjar’s murder, leading to backlash from India. In response, India dismissed the allegations as “absurd,” temporarily curbing visas for Canadians and forcing Ottawa to withdraw diplomats.

In a separate incident, the US Department of Justice charged an Indian citizen living in the Czech Republic with plotting an assassination attempt on US soil targeting Sikh-American activist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. Prosecutors revealed that an Indian government official was also involved in the planning of the alleged assassination plot. These shocking allegations came as US President Joe Biden hosted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a state visit, indicating growing tensions between the two countries. US intelligence agencies reportedly believe that the assassination plot on US soil was approved by India’s top spy official at the time, Samant Goel.

There are approximately 770,000 Sikhs living in Canada, making up nearly 2 percent of the country’s population and representing the largest Sikh community outside of India. Sikh leaders in North America have welcomed the arrests of those involved in Nijjar’s murder, but the allegations of Indian government involvement have raised concerns and questions. The case highlights the complex political dynamics between India and the Sikh diaspora, especially in countries like Canada where the Sikh community is a significant minority. As the investigation into Nijjar’s murder continues, the implications for India’s relations with Sikh separatist groups abroad and its international reputation remain to be seen.

Overall, the arrests of individuals linked to Nijjar’s murder and the subsequent investigations into potential Indian government involvement have brought attention to the ongoing tensions between India and Sikh separatist groups outside its borders. The case also underscores the challenges of navigating political allegiances and security threats within the Sikh diaspora, particularly in countries like Canada with large Sikh populations. As the legal proceedings unfold and more details emerge, the impact on diplomatic relations between India and countries like Canada and the US will be closely monitored. The complexities of addressing separatist movements and ensuring security while upholding democratic values and human rights continue to pose challenges for governments around the world.

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