Who was Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Khalistan terrorist at centre of standoff between India and Canada?

Sep 19, 2023 07:21 AM IST

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a pro-Khalistan supporter was gunned down on June 18 outside a Sikh cultural centre in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.

Canada on Monday expelled a top Indian diplomat amid probe into the killing of pro-Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on its soil. Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau claimed ‘credible allegations of a potential link’ between agents of the Indian government and the killing of the Khalistani terrorist.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar was gunned down on June 18 outside a Sikh cultural centre in Surrey, British Columbia. “Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” Trudeau said in the Canadian parliament.

Canadian pro-Khalistan figure Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot dead in the town of Surrey in British Columbia in June. (File image)
Canadian pro-Khalistan figure Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot dead in the town of Surrey in British Columbia in June. (File image)

The Canadian premier said his government has been working closely and coordinating with Canada’s allies on the case. The expulsion comes as relations between Canada and India are tense over the rise in pro-Khalistan activities in Canada.

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Who is Hardeep Singh Nijjar?

1)Nijjar, associated with banned Indian separatist group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), held the position of 'Number 2' after Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. He hailed from Jalandhar's Bharsingh Pura village as per Punjab Police dossiers and moved to Canada in 1996.

2)In Canada, he began working there as a plumber, however over the past few years, his wealth saw a sudden rise, due to his involvement in pro-Khalistan activities.

3)Nijjar's involvement in terrorism started with his membership in Babbar Khalsa International, led by Jagtar Singh Tara. Subsequently, he established his own group, Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF). He played a significant role in identifying, connecting, training, and funding Khalistani cells in India, accumulating over 10 FIRs against him.

4)In 2014, Nijjar masterminded the assassination of self-proclaimed spiritual leader Baba Bhaniara. In 2015, he conducted a training camp in Canada to instruct Mandeep Singh Dhaliwal, who was subsequently dispatched to Punjab with the mission of targeting Shiv Sena leaders. Mandeep was arrested in June 2016.

5)In November 2020, Nijjar partnered with fellow gangster Arsh Dalla, who was also residing abroad. Together, they got involved in the murder of Manohar Lal, a follower of the Dera Sacha Sauda, which took place at Lal's office in Bhagta Bhai Ka, Bathinda, in 2021.

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