The Indian government has expelled a Canadian diplomat after Ottawa alleges India was involved in the killing of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
The Indian government has responded in kind and ordered the departure of a senior Canadian diplomat after Ottawa made accusations that New Delhi was involved in the murder of a Sikh activist in Canada.
The statement did not name the diplomat but said they would need to leave the country within the next five days. If it involves a tit-for-tat retaliation, the Canadian diplomat could have ties to the security apparatus.
Canada announced on Sept. 18 that it was expelling the head of India’s foreign intelligence service in Canada, Pavan Kumar Rai, who works for the Research and Analysis Wing.
“Allegations of Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated,” says the Indian ministry.
The statement repeated previous criticism that India has directed at Canada for not cracking down on the Sikh separatist movement in the country.
“That Canadian political figures have openly expressed sympathy for such elements remains a matter of deep concern,” the statement said.
Mr. Trudeau rose in the House of Commons on Sept. 18 to declare that Canadian security agencies have been “actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar.”
Mr. Nijjar, a Sikh independence activist and the president of a Gurdwara in Surrey, B.C., was gunned down last June. An RCMP investigation is underway.
Mr. Nijjar was wanted by India on terrorism charges and took part in organizing a non-binding secession Sikh referendum. He had previously denied being involved in terrorist-related activities.
The decision to accuse India publicly puts into context why relations have been particularly strained of late.