Following a Canadian media report that law enforcement has tracked down two persons connected to the murder of pro-Khalistan figure Hardeep Singh Nijjar, India has said it has assured Ottawa that it will “look into” whatever “specific and relevant information” is shared with New Delhi related to the investigation.
Citing anonymous sources, the outlet Globe and Mail reported on Wednesday that two persons allegedly involved in the killing on June 18 in the town of Surrey in British Columbia have been “under surveillance” for months and are expected to be arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in “a matter of weeks.”
The report said that these persons never left Canada after the killing. “The sources said police will explain the alleged assassins’ involvement and that of the Indian government when charges are laid against the two men,” the outlet reported.
Nijjar’s killing led to a cratering of the bilateral relationship between India and Canada after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated in the House of Commons on September 18 that there were “credible allegations” of a link between Indian agents and the murder. Nijjar, considered a terrorist by India, was the secessionist group Sikhs for Justice or SFJ’s principal in the province of British Columbia.
References to his murder were included in the indictment in a Federal Court in New York against Indian national Nikhil Gupta in November in a case related to an alleged foiled plot to kill SFJ’s general counsel Gurpatwant Pannun.
Reacting to the report, India’s High Commissioner to Ottawa Sanjay Kumar Verma said, “We still don’t have any information on that so I’ll wait till the time the information is shared. But what we have been assuring at all levels is that if there is anything specific and relevant, we shall look into it. So, we’ll wait till the time the Canadian authorities approach us and share with us the information that they have and then we will evaluate the information and look into things.”
While India has established a high-level inquiry to examine the Pannun plot, it has yet to take similar action with regard to Nijjar’s killing.
That murder is being investigated by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team or IHIT. In an update in August, IHIT had stated that it had confirmed that a 2008 silver Toyota Camry was used to drive away the two “heavy-set” and masked suspects in the killing and a third person was involved in driving the getaway vehicle. It also released a grainy image of the driver of the car, which was captured by CCTV in the vicinity.