On September 19, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged India to “take seriously” the affair between the two countries, in the midst of a diplomatic crisis after the assassination of a Sikh leader in western Canada.
“The Government of India must take this matter seriously. This is what we do on our side, we do not seek to provoke or escalate,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the press on September 19.
Canada declared on September 18 that there was “credible evidence” suggesting that New Delhi was responsible for the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, in front of his temple last June. Accusations described as “absurd” by the government of Narendra Modi. This peak of tensions led to the reciprocal expulsion of diplomats on September 18.
India accuses Nijjar of terrorism
An activist for the creation of a Sikh state known as Khalistan, Nijjar was wanted by Indian authorities for alleged acts of terrorism and conspiracy to commit murder. Accusations that he denied, according to the World Sikh Organization of Canada, a non-profit organization which claims to defend the interests of Canadian Sikhs.
Relations between the two countries have been strained in recent months since the assassination of the Sikh leader and the protests 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 in northern India.
Signs of the brewing crisis, Ottawa recently suspended negotiations for a free trade agreement with India and the Minister of Commerce last week canceled a planned trip to the country in October.