OTTAWA - Another Sikh activist of Kahlistan movement has been shot dead in Canada following the diplomatic standoff between Canada and India over the murder of Canadian Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Sukhdool Singh, popularly known as Sukha Duneke, was an active campaigner for Khalistan, a separate homeland for Sikhs in India.
According to reports, unidentified people shot Singh 15 times. He reportedly immigrated to Canada in 2017. He belonged to Moga district of the Indian Punjab. Singh was wanted to the government as the Indian agency National Investigation Agency (NIA) had issued warrants against him.
The killing comes a couple of days after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India of killing Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June this year. Trudeau told parliamentarians on Monday that Canadian intelligence agencies have found a “credible” link between Nijjar’s killing and the Indian government.
“Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” he told lawmakers. Earlier, Canadian government had expelled Indian diplomat Pavan Kumar Rai and Delhi removed a Canadian in retaliation.
Meanwhile, Canada’s High Commission in New Delhi said it would “adjust” diplomat numbers in India and the South Asian nation suspended visa processing in Canada Thursday as a row between Ottawa and New Delhi deepens. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has demanded India treat with “utmost seriousness” allegations that Indian agents played a role in the June murder of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar near Vancouver. “In light of the current environment where tensions have heightened, we are taking action to ensure the safety of our diplomats,” Canada’s mission said in a statement. “With some diplomats having received threats on various social media platforms, Global Affairs Canada is assessing its staff complement in India,” it added. “As a result, and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to temporarily adjust staff presence in India.” The mission did not give further details of the number of people leaving but said its offices were “open and operational”, while calling for the safety of its staff to be ensured.