Khalistani separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, whose killing caused major diplomatic tensions between India and Canada, reached the North American country using a counterfeit passport and Canada did not take any action against him despite being informed that he faced over a dozen criminal cases of murder and other terrorist activities, sources told PTI on Friday.
Nijjar fled to Canada in 1997. He had applied for asylum in Canada by claiming that he feared persecution in India because he belonged to "a particular social group". But it was rejected on grounds of fabricated narrative, PTI reported. Eleven days after his claim was rejected, he entered into a "marriage" agreement with a woman who sponsored his immigration. This application was also rejected by immigration officials in Canada as the woman had also arrived in Canada in 1997 on sponsorship by a different husband.
Nijjar appealed against the rejection in courts of Canada although he kept claiming himself to be a citizen of Canada. He was later granted Canadian citizenship, the circumstances of which are not clear. An Interpol Red Corner Notice (RCN) was issued against him in November 2014.
Nijjar had over a dozen criminal cases of murder and other terrorist activities against him in India. Details of the cases were shared with the Canadian authorities but no action was taken, sources said. Also, despite RCN, the Canadian authorities did not take any action except putting him on a no-fly list, they said.
Nijjar was killed on June 18 at a parking lot of a gurdwara in British Columbia. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau alleged a potential role of the Indian government in the assassination, a charge that India rejected. However, Trudeau reiterated his allegations and called on India to cooperate in probing the killing.