Canada is expelling a top Indian diplomat in the wake of bombshell allegations that agents from India may have been involved in the killing of a Canadian citizen, Foreign Minister Melanie Joly announced Monday.
If the allegations are proven true, Joly said, it would be a “grave violation of our sovereignty and the most basic rule of how countries deal with each other.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered an urgent address to lawmakers in Parliament Monday afternoon informing them Canada’s security agencies have been pursuing for weeks “credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the Government of India” and the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar earlier this summer on Canadian soil.
“Canada has declared its deep concerns to the top intelligence and security officials of the Indian government,” Trudeau said when he delivered the news in an urgent statement to Canadian lawmakers in Parliament. “Last week at the G-20, I brought them personally and directly to Prime Minister Modi in no uncertain terms.”
The news comes on the heels of a report by the Globe and Mail newspaper the same day that broke the news.
Nijjar, a British Columbia Sikh leader part of a separatist movement and designated a terrorist by New Delhi, was fatally shot inside of his car in the parking lot of a Sikh temple in Surrey, B.C., on June 18.
“We’ve been clear we will not tolerate any form of foreign interference,” Joly told reporters.
The news landed the same day that Canada’s recently announced commissioner overseeing an independent public inquiry into foreign interference started in her new role. She has until end of next year to produce a final report, according to the terms of the inquiry.
Canada abruptly suspended a trade mission with India Friday amid strained relations between the two countries.
Canada’s Liberal government has tried to deepen its relations with India, a key partner in its Indo-Pacific trade and diplomacy strategy.