Canada tainted Nijjar probe by making allegations without evidence: Indian envoy

Indian high commissioner urges Canada to address the "core issue" of checking Khalistan supporters without harming business relations or the pending free trade agreement

A pro-Khalistan demonstration against Prime Minster Narendra Modi in Toronto, Canada in September (photo: Getty Images
A pro-Khalistan demonstration against Prime Minster Narendra Modi in Toronto, Canada in September (photo: Getty Images
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IANS

India has accused Canada of already tainting the investigation into the killing of pro-Khalistan leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a designated terrorist in New Delhi, by dragging the country's name into it without producing any evidence.

"Where is the evidence? Where is the conclusion of the investigation? I would go a step further and say now the investigation has already been tainted. A direction has come from someone at a high level to say India or Indian agents are behind it," Indian high commissioner to Canada Sanjay Kumar Verma told the Globe and Mail newspaper in an interview published on Saturday.

India-Canada relations have deteriorated ever since Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in a statement in the country's Parliament on 18 September, alleged Indian involvement in the killing of Nijjar outside a gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, in June.

Trudeau also said his government had shared details of the allegations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Trudeau's visit to Delhi for the G20 summit in September, asking New Delhi to cooperate in the investigation.

Indian high commissioner to Canada Sanjay Kumar Verma asks Canada to produce evidence in Nijjar's killing (photo: @IndiainToronto/ X)
Indian high commissioner to Canada Sanjay Kumar Verma asks Canada to produce evidence in Nijjar's killing (photo: @IndiainToronto/ X)
@IndiainToronto/X

But Verma told the newspaper that India has not been shown concrete evidence by Canada or its allies about New Delhi's alleged involvement in Nijjar's killing. "There is no specific or relevant information provided in this case for us to assist them in the investigation," the high commissioner said.

Since Canadian claims of India's alleged hand in the killing are based on Indian diplomatic communications picked up by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and agencies of another unnamed member of the Five Eyes, Verma highlighted the illegality of wiretapping conversations between diplomats.

He said diplomats' conversations are protected under international law and cannot be used as evidence in court or publicly released. "You are talking about illegal wiretaps and talking about evidence. Conversations between two diplomats are secure by all international law. Show me how you captured these conversations. Show me that someone did not mimic the voice," Verma said.

Verma also said 26 requests have been made to Canada over the past five or six years for extradition of people wanted in India, but "we are still waiting for action."


Verma and two Indian consuls-general in Toronto and Ottawa have been given protection after threats and posters targeting them were issued by purportedly pro-Khalistan elements.

"I feel that is hate speech and an incitement to violence. I am concerned about my safety and security. I am concerned about the safety and security of my consuls-general. God forbid if something happens," the Indian envoy said.

He added that business ties between the two nations, including the signing of the pending free trade agreement, must not be hampered by the current stand-off, but Canada must address the "core issue" of checking Khalistan supporters.

"Don't allow your soil to be used by a group of Canadian citizens who want to dismember India, who want to challenge the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India," he said.

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