Following the US charges against an Indian national for allegedly conspiring to assassinate a New York-based Sikh separatist, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emphasized the importance of New Delhi taking the accusations seriously and cooperating with investigations.
Trudeau, who had previously asserted suspicions of Indian agents' involvement in the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, expressed to CBC News the seriousness of these allegations and the collaborative efforts between Canadian and American counterparts.
"The developments from the US reiterate our concerns that we've consistently raised. It's imperative for India to address this matter seriously," Trudeau emphasized to reporters on Wednesday. He stressed the need for cooperation in uncovering the truth, stating, "This cannot be dismissed lightly by anyone."
The Prime Minister reiterated his commitment to ensuring the safety of Canadians, reaffirming that this responsibility remains paramount.
US prosecutors unveiled murder-for-hire charges against Nikhil Gupta, an Indian national, linked to an alleged plot to assassinate a US citizen on behalf of an Indian government employee. The indictment did not disclose the identity of the government official or Khalistan leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, referring to Pannun solely as a "US citizen."
The charges claimed that the Indian government employee recruited Gupta in May 2023 to assassinate Pannun, identified as a designated terrorist in India. Gupta, reportedly contacting an individual he believed to be a criminal associate, unknowingly interacted with a confidential source from the US Drug Enforcement Agency.
India responded by forming a high-level inquiry committee to address the security concerns raised by the US government. On the other hand, High Commissioner Sanjay Kumar Verma from Canada stated that neither Ottawa nor its allies have presented "concrete evidence" supporting Trudeau's earlier allegations.
Verma reiterated India's request for specific and pertinent information to assist Canadian investigators in reaching their conclusions during an interview with a Canadian journalist last week.
(With Agency Inputs)