Canadian PM Says 'Credible' Link Between India and Sikh Leader's Death

India has rejected allegations by Canada’s Prime Minister that it had any role in the death of a Sikh leader, on Tuesday, September 19.

In a statement, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said that allegations of involvement in any act of violence in Canada was “absurd and motivated.”

The Sikh leader, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, was shot on June 18 in Surrey, British Colombia.

Justin Trudeau stood in parliament on Monday, September 18, and said Canadian intelligence had identified a “credible” link between the Sikh leader’s death and agents of the Indian government.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs said the claims were “unsubstantiated” and would “shift focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada.” Credit: ParlVu via Storyful

Video transcript

JUSTIN TRUDEAU: Mr. Speaker, today I'm rising to inform the House of an extremely serious matter. I just informed the leaders of the opposition directly, and I want now to speak with all Canadians. Over the past number of weeks, Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Canada is a rule of law country. The protection of our citizens and defense of our sovereignty are fundamental. Our top priorities have therefore been, one, that our law enforcement and security agencies ensure the continued safety of all Canadians. And two, that all steps be taken to hold perpetrators of this murder to account.

Canada has declared its deep concerns to the top intelligence and security officials of the Indian government. Last week at the G20, I brought them personally and directly to Prime Minister Modi in no uncertain terms. Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty. It is contrary to the fundamental rules by which free, open, and Democratic societies conduct themselves.

As you would expect, we've been working closely and coordinating with our allies on this very serious matter. In the strongest possible terms, I continue to urge the government of India to cooperate with Canada to get to the bottom of this matter. I also expect it to reiterate that its position on extrajudicial operations in another country is clearly and unequivocally in line with international law.

I know many Canadians, particularly members of the Indo-Canadian community, are feeling angry, or perhaps frightened right now. Let us not allow this to change us. Let us remain calm and steadfast in our commitment to our Democratic principles, and our adherence to the rule of law. This is who we are, and what we do as Canadians.