Canadian Police arrest three in connection with Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing

Three people arrested in Khalistani separatist Nijjar’s killing. Photo Courtesy: IHIT website

Canadian Police on Friday (May 3, 2024) said at least three people were arrested and charged in connection with the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia last year.

The murder of the Khalistani leader had triggered a diplomatic row between India and Canada.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a statement: “Today the Integrated Homicide Investigative Team (IHIT) and the Federal Policing Program Pacific Region announced the arrests of three individuals for their alleged involvement in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar on June 18, 2023.”

According to local media reports, the three arrested persons were identified as Kamalpreet Singh, Karanpreet Singh and Karan Brar.

Although sources initially told CBC News that raids were expected in at least two provinces, RCMP confirmed Friday that all three men were arrested separately in Edmonton without incident — two of them in their homes and another elsewhere.

Sources told CBC News the men arrived in Canada on temporary visas after 2021, some of them student visas. None are believed to have pursued education while in Canada. None have obtained permanent residency.

Police said others associated with the crime could be arrested in the upcoming days.

“This investigation does not end here. We are aware that others may have played a role in this homicide and we remain dedicated to finding and arresting each one of these individuals,” Supt. Mandeep Mooker, the officer in charge of the B.C. RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) told CBC News.

India-Canada row

In September last year, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that authorities in his country were pursuing allegations linking Indian government agents to the fatal shooting of Nijjar, a Canadian citizen.

However, India rejected Trudeau’s claim as “absurd”.

Canada had been pressing India to cooperate in its investigation. The US later revealed it had foiled an assassination attempt against a Sikh separatist on its soil.

The presence of Khalistani terrorists in Canada has long frustrated New Delhi. Nijjar was labelled a “terrorist” by India.