Hardeep Singh Nijjar was a Canadian born on 11 October 1977 and who sadly passed away on 12 June 2023, was known for his strong support for the creation of a new Sikh state in the Punjab region of India. Tragically, he was wanted by the Indian government and met his demise in Canada on 18 June 2023. The Canadian government is currently investigating suspicions that the Indian government might have played a role in his untimely death.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar had a career that involved some controversies. The Government of India claimed that he was in charge of groups that supported Khalistan, like the Khalistan Tiger Force, and he led the Canadian branch of Sikhs for Justice. He also held the position of president at a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia.
However, in 2018 the Indian government accused Nijjar of being involved in several targeted killings in India. Nijjar strongly denied these allegations, saying that the Indian authorities were wrongly accusing him of crimes. In February 2018, Amarinder Singh, who was the Chief Minister of Punjab, gave a list of wanted people to the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and Nijjar’s name was on that list. On 13 April 2018, the Surrey unit of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police briefly questioned Nijjar but didn’t charge him with any crimes, releasing him within 24 hours.
On June 18, 2023, something very sad happened. Hardeep Singh Nijjar was in his truck in the parking lot of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, Canada, when two masked gunmen shot him. He was found in his truck with wounds from the gunshots. Nijjar was 45 years old. After he passed away, some Sikh groups said that Indian diplomats might have been involved in his killing.
On 18 September 2023, the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, said that Canadian intelligence found a strong connection between Nijjar’s murder and the Indian government. He asked India to work together with Canada to find out what happened. In response to this sad event, the Canadian Foreign Minister, Mélanie Joly, told a top Indian diplomat in Canada to leave. This diplomat was in charge of the Research and Analysis Wing, which is India’s outside intelligence agency in Canada. India did the same thing the next day, sending a Canadian diplomat back, as a way of responding. They said the claims were very wrong. Because of this incident, it was said that talks about a trade deal between Canada and India were put on hold.