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Diaspora Sikh Bodies Demand Accountability of India for Bhai Nijjar’s Assassination in Canada

May 7, 2024 | By

Surrey, Canada: On 3 May Canadian police announced the arrest of three individuals believed to have been directed by the Government of India to carry out the assassination of Bhai Hardeep Singh Nijjar last June. This news broke at the same time Justice Hogue released her initial report in Canada’s Foreign Interference Commission, confirming that India also directed foreign interference activities in the 2019 and 2021 elections.

In a press release the BC Gurdwaras Council and Ontario Gurdwaras Committee said “Taken together, this news demonstrates a larger pattern of state-directed violent and intolerant behaviour that is spilling over beyond India’s own borders”. 

“Canada must unequivocally condemn India’s actions while holding all officials responsible to account without exception. There must be meaningful repercussions for those responsible alongside a serious reconsideration of Canada’s relationship with a country that has clearly demonstrated it is willing to engage in illegal conduct that fundamentally undermines the basic principles of international cooperation”, the release reads.

The Sikh bodies said: “In light of today’s news, Sikhs across Canada are renewing their calls for the Government of Canada to take concrete and transparent steps in response to India’s repeated transgressions. This must include the immediate suspension of security and intelligence cooperation which targets political dissidents, a transparent public investigation into the circumstances that led to Bhai Hardeep Singh’s assassination, and a downgrading of diplomatic ties with India as long as it continues engaging in hostile activities against Canadians and Canadian institutions”.

Prabjot Singh, who represents a coalition of Sikh organizations at the Foreign Interference Commission, stated:

As Justice Hogue confirmed in her initial report, India relies on local proxies to conduct their clandestine activities in Canada. These activities, targeting the Sikh community, range from interfering in Canadian elections to directly targeting Sikh activists. It is imperative that the investigation into Bhai Hardeep Singh’s murder actively pursues those who actually directed Canada-based proxies to carry out the assassination.

Moninder Singh, spokesperson of the BCGC, added:

Bhai Hardeep Singh’s extrajudicial killing is not simply a matter of an isolated incident conducted by rogue elements within Indian intelligence. This is a matter of state responsibility in the context of a transnational assassination program targeting Sikh activists around the world. While investigators must pursue those government officials who directed the assassination, the Government of Canada must seriously reconsider its relationship with a hostile state that brazenly targets Canadian citizens and institutions.

Amarjit Singh Mann, spokesperson for the OGC, urged the Government of Canada to take action to maintain human rights protections around the world:

The Government must immediately act against RAW operatives and their proxies to ensure they are not able to orchestrate further attacks in light of senior Indian officials continuing to make inflammatory public statements boasting about their ability to assassinate foreign dissidents. Regional stability, peace and justice in South Asia are contingent on human rights protections for all communities in the region and the meaningful expression of self-determination through the establishment of an independent Khalistan.



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