New Delhi: India on Tuesday rejected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegation about the involvement of an agent of the government of India in the killing of Khalistan Tiger Force chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
In a statement, 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”.
“Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to the Prime Minister of India and were completely rejected”.
The Ministry said, “India is a democratic polity with a strong commitment to the rule of law”.
The Ministry statement came after Trudeau told the Canadian parliament that his country’s security agencies have been actively pursuing “allegations” of a potential link between Indian government agents and the murder of Khalistan Tiger Force chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia in June.
As Trudeau made the claim, Canadian foreign minister Mélanie Joly announced the expulsion of a “top Indian diplomat”.
According to Canadian public broadcaster CBC, Foreign office identified the diplomat as Pavan Kumar Rai.
Reacting to the development, 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”.
The MEA said the inaction of the Canadian government on the issue has been a long-standing one and a matter for continuing concern.
It also said that Canadian political figures have “openly expressed sympathy for such elements, remains a matter of deep concern”.
In the strongly worded statement, the Ministry said, “The space given in Canada to a range of illegal activities including murders, human trafficking and organized crime is not new”.
“India rejects any attempts to connect the Government of India to such developments and urges the Government of Canada to take prompt and effective legal action against all anti-India elements operating from their soil,” it added.