After Canada on Monday expelled a top Indian diplomat as it investigated the potential link between the Indian government and the killing of a Khalistani terrorist, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs strongly rejected the allegations, claiming that they are 'absurd' and 'motivated'. India decided to expel a senior Canadian diplomat in retaliation and asked him to leave India in the next five days.
"We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister. 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 rule of law," a statement issued by the MEA said after the head of Indian intelligence in Canada was expelled.
Hours after the Indian diplomat was expelled, 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 decision reflects Government of India’s growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities," a statement by MEA said.
The Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar was gunned down on June 18 outside a sikh cultural centre in Surrey, British Columbia. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he brought up the matter with PM Narendra Modi during the G20 summit in New Delhi last week. He said he told Modi that any Indian government involvement would be unacceptable and that he asked for cooperation in the investigation.
Relations between India and Canada have hit a new low amid rising protests by Khalistan activists. India has repeatedly highlighted the threat posed by Khalistan extremists to the Indian diaspora in the past. In July this year, after Nijjar's killing, India had urgently called upon the Canadian government to take decisive action against Khalistan extremists who had planned to stage protest marches to Indian embassies in Toronto and Vancouver.
During the recently concluded G20 summit, Trudeau affirmed his country's commitment to defending freedom of peaceful protest while simultaneously asserting their determination to prevent violence and combat hatred.