Australia ‘deeply concerned’ about Canada's allegations against India over Nijjar's killing


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Australia ‘deeply concerned’ about Canada's allegations against India over Nijjar's killing

Australia is deeply concerned by allegations raised by Canada linking Indian government agents to Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing in British Columbia province, a spokesperson for foreign minister Penny Wong said on Tuesday.

In an official statement, the spokesperson said, “Australia is deeply concerned by these allegations and notes ongoing investigations into this matter. We are closely engaged with partners on developments. We have conveyed our concerns at senior levels to India.” 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has expelled a top Indian diplomat as he accused the Indian government agents of killing Khalistan supporter Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June this year.

However, India has rejected allegations by Canada. “We have seen and rejected the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.

“Allegations of Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated…We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to the rule of law,” the statement said.

In a tit-for-tat move, India also instructed a senior Canadian diplomat to leave the nation in five days. It was customary for India to reciprocate the expulsion of a Canadian diplomat with a reciprocal move.

India called upon Canadian Ambassador Cameron MacKay to convey its decision to expel the “senior Canadian diplomat”. This action was taken in direct response to Ottawa’s expulsion of an Indian official in connection with the demise of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

The Ministry of External Affairs, on September 19, conveyed New Delhi’s mounting apprehension regarding Canadian diplomats’ interference in India’s domestic affairs and their participation in activities detrimental to India.

As per sources, it is Olivier Sylvestere who has been expelled. He is the Canadian intelligence agency station chief in India under official cover, sources claim.

“The High Commissioner of Canada to India was summoned today and informed about the decision of the Government of India to expel a senior Canadian diplomat based in India. The concerned diplomat has been asked to leave India within the next five days,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The decision reflects the Government of India’s growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities,” the statement added.


(With Reuters inputs)

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Updated: 19 Sep 2023, 01:22 PM IST

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