"Open to investigation": EAM S Jaishankar denies receiving evidence of Indian involvement in Canada's Nijjar killing

MUMBAI: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has once again denied receiving any evidence implicating Indian nationals' involvement in the killing in Canada of India-designated terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Responding to media queries here, Jaishankar stated, "I also read that another arrest has been made. If that person is an Indian national, then usually by consular practice, you inform the government or the embassy of the country of origin. But beyond that, we have long maintained that if anything, any event in Canada, any violence in Canada, has any evidence or information which is relevant to be investigated in India, we are open to investigating it."

He emphasised that while any Indian national's arrest would usually prompt notification to the government or embassy, no specific evidence justifying investigation by Indian agencies has been received to date.

"But to date, we have never received anything which is specific and worthy of being pursued by our investigative agencies. And I'm not aware anything has changed in the last few days in that regard," the External Affairs Minister said at a media interaction at a seminar on Indian Capital Markets 'Roadmap for Viksit Bharat' at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in Mumbai on Monday.

The Canadian Police on Saturday arrested a fourth suspect over his alleged involvement in the killing of Nijjar, Canada-based CBC News reported.

Nijjar was killed outside the Gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18. The accused has been identified as Amandeep Singh (22).

According to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) in British Columbia, Singh was already in the custody of Peel Regional Police in Ontario for unrelated firearms charges.

"IHIT pursued the evidence and gained sufficient information for the BC Prosecution Service to charge Amandeep Singh with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder," the police statement said.

The police said that Singh is an Indian national, splitting his time in Canada in Brampton, Ontario; Surrey, British Columbia, and Abbotsford, British Columbia, as reported by CBC News. Investigators haven't given any further details of the arrest, citing ongoing investigations and court processes.

This comes days after the Canadian police arrested three Indian nationals Karan Brar, Kamalpreet Singh and Karanpreet Singh in Edmonton. The trio was charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in relation to the homicide.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was designated a terrorist by India's National Investigation Agency in 2020, was shot and killed as he came out of a Gurdwara in Surrey in June last year. The attack was described as 'highly coordinated' and involved six men and two vehicles. Notably, the Canadian police has not given any evidence of any link to India, as was being speculated in Canadian media.

Nijjar's killing triggered diplomatic tensions between Canada and India after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged India's hand in the killing a claim New Delhi has rejected, calling it "absurd" and "motivated."

Earlier this week, the Ministry of External Affairs reiterated that Canada has not provided any "specific" evidence or relevant information in the Hardeep Singh Nijjar killing case and that no "formal communication" has been provided to India over the arrests of three Indians allegedly involved in the matter."No specific or relevant evidence or information has been given to us in this matter. Canada has informed us about the arrest. But we have not got any formal communication..." MEA Spokesperson said on the arrest of three Indian nations in Canada in Nijjar killing.

On being asked if India has given consular access to the three Indians arrested in the Nijjar Killing case, the MEA said that they have not received any request from the Canadian side for the same as the accused have not asked for the consular access yet.


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