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OTTAWA: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday demanded that India treat with “utmost seriousness” Canada’s allegations of New Delhi’s possible involvement in the slaying of a Sikh exile, a concern echoed by Washington.

Canada’s assertion led to reciprocal expulsions of an Indian intelligence official from Canada and a senior Canadian diplomat from New Delhi.

“India needs to take this matter with the utmost seriousness. We are doing that, we are not looking to provoke or escalate,” Trudeau told reporters.

Canada said Monday that there were “credible allegations” that agents linked to New Delhi were responsible for the murder June 18 of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, in front of a Sikh cultural center in a Vancouver suburb.

The government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the leader had “completely rejected” Canada’s assertions in the unsolved slaying.

“Allegations of Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Washington, however, joined Ottawa in calling for India to reveal what it knows about the slaying.

“We are deeply concerned about the allegations referenced by Prime Minister Trudeau,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement.

“We remain in regular contact with our Canadian partners. It is critical that Canada’s investigation proceed and the perpetrators be brought to justice.”

An activist for the creation of a Sikh state known as Khalistan, Nijjar was wanted by Indian authorities for alleged terrorism and conspiracy to commit murder.

He had denied those charges, according to the World Sikh Organization of Canada, a nonprofit organization that says it defends the interests of Canadian Sikhs.

Relations between Canada and India have been strained in recent months since the assassination of the Sikh leader and demonstrations that followed in Canada.

The Indian government accuses Ottawa of turning a blind eye to the activities of radical Sikh nationalists who advocate the creation of an independent Sikh state to be carved out of northern India.

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, who was at the United Nations, said his nation wants India’s “full cooperation” with Canada in the probe.

Trudeau said the case is “extremely serious” and “has far reaching consequences... for Canada.”

Trudeau said his government did not rush to judgment in the case and had worked closely with its intelligence agencies.

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U2 Sep 20, 2023 01:15pm
Canada should stop issuing visas to Indians until Modi behaves! Modi is transporting thousand of Indians legally and illegally into Canada and US!
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TidBit Sep 20, 2023 11:27pm
The world has to live with Modi for the next 6 years whether it likes it or not. Threadu may not win the next elections.
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