India on Tuesday outrightly rejected as ”baseless” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s claim of a ”potential link” between Indian government agents and the killing of a Khalistani leader.
After Trudeau made the comments in Parliament, Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly announced that a “top Indian diplomat” has been expelled from Canada.
In a statement in Canadian Parliament, Trudeau claimed that there were ”credible allegations of a potential link” between Indian government agents and the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June.
Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen outside a gurdwara in Surrey in the western Canadian province of British Columbia on June 18 In strong reaction, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the allegations of the Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are ”absurd and motivated”.
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”Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister, and were completely rejected,” it said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Trudeau had a bilateral meeting on September 10 on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Delhi.
”We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to rule of law,” the MEA said.
”Such unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” it said.
”The inaction of the Canadian Government on this matter has been a long-standing and continuing concern,” the MEA said.
It said Canadian political figures have ”openly expressed sympathy” for such elements remains a matter of deep concern.
”The space given in Canada to a range of illegal activities including murders, human trafficking and organised crime is not new,” the MEA said.
”We reject any attempts to connect Government of India to such developments,” it said.
”We urge the Government of Canada to take prompt and effective legal action against all anti-India elements operating from their soil,” it added In his talks with Trudeau on September 10, Modi conveyed India’s strong concerns about continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada as they are promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats and threatening the Indian community there.