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US urge India to cooperate with Canada in Sikh leader murder investigations

Blinken says the United States wants to see accountability
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks about infrastructure investment at the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering in College Park, MD, U.S., August 9, 2021 - REUTERS
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks about infrastructure investment at the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering in College Park, MD, U.S., August 9, 2021 - REUTERS

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has urged India to cooperate with Canada in the investigation of the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian Sikh separatist.

Blinken emphasised the importance of accountability and urged India to support a thorough investigation during a press conference at the UN General Assembly.

On September 18, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged the involvement of Indian agents in the murder of Nijjar, 45, who was shot dead outside a Sikh temple on June 18 in Surrey, a Vancouver suburb with a large Sikh population.

“We want to see accountability. It’s vital that the investigation run its course and lead to that result,” Blinken said, adding that the US is vigilant about the alleged transnational repression as a larger issue.

“We are deeply concerned about the allegations that Prime Minister [Justin] Trudeau has raised. We have been consulting throughout very closely with our Canadian colleagues. From our perspective, it is critical that the Canadian investigations proceed and it would be important that India work with the Canadians on this investigation,” he said.

A day earlier, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan expressed similar views as he said that the United States would stand up for its principles, regardless of what country is affected.

The US was in touch with Indians at high levels after Ottawa said Indian government agents had links to the murder Nijjar in Canada, and Washington was giving India no “special exemption” in the matter, Sullivan added.

Read: Canada has proof of Indian diplomats’ link to Sikh activist murder: report

The diplomatic row between the two countries worsened after India expelled a senior Canadian diplomat hours after Ottawa expelled an Indian diplomat over the killing of a Sikh separatist near Vancouver.

India also suspended new visas for Canadians and asked Ottawa to reduce its diplomatic presence in the country.

Meanwhile, Trudeau called on India to cooperate with an investigation into the murder of the Sikh separatist leader and said Canada would not release its evidence.

“There is no question that India is a country of growing importance and a country that we need to continue to work with … and we’re not looking to provoke or cause problems,” Trudeau said in a press conference in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

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india

canada

Justin Trudeau

Sikh

Canada india

Sikh leader

Hardeep Singh Nijjar