• Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Nijjar murder: US urges India to cooperate in probe

John Kirby said that news reports that the US rejected or brushed off Canada’s allegations are untrue

A sign asking for an investigation on India’s role in the killing of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar is seen at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara temple, in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada September 20, 2023. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

By: Pramod Thomas

THE White House is “deeply concerned” about allegations that Indian agents were potentially involved in the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in Canada and encourages India to cooperate in any investigation, said national security spokesman John Kirby.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday (18) that domestic intelligence agencies were actively pursuing credible allegations tying New Delhi’s agents to the shooting of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, in British Columbia in June.

“We are deeply concerned” Kirby said of the allegations. He added, “We encourage India to fully cooperate.”

India prime minister Narendra Modi’s government has categorically rejected Canada’s suspicions that Indian agents had links to the murder.

The dispute deals a fresh blow to diplomatic ties that have been fraying for years, with New Delhi unhappy over Sikh separatist activity in Canada.

Kirby said that news reports that the US rejected or brushed off Canada’s allegations are untrue.

“There’s been some press speculation out there … that the United States rebuffed Canada in terms of talking about their investigation, and I just want to stress that those reports are just flatly false, untrue,” Kirby said.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday (19) that weeks before Trudeau’s allegations against India, Canada had asked its closest allies, including the US, to publicly condemn the Sikh separatist leader’s killing, but the requests were turned down.

The killing of Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, was raised privately by several senior officials of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing nations in the weeks before this month’s G20 summit in New Delhi, the Washington Post had reported.

The Five Eyes alliance of intelligence sharing includes Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the US and Canada.

The Canadian foreign ministry also said that claims that “Canada asked allies to publicly condemn the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, and were subsequently rebuffed, are false.”


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