India says no evidence shared by Canada on Trudeau administration’s claims over Nijjar killing

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NEW DELHI: Amid the ongoing diplomatic row between India and Canada, the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said that no information has been shared by Canada regarding the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

“We are willing to look at any specific information that is provided to us, but so far, we have received no specific information from Canada”, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday answering queries.

“From our side, specific evidence about criminal activities by individuals based on Canadian soil has been shared with Canada but not acted upon…Yes, I do think there is a degree of prejudice here. They have made allegations and taken action on them. To us, it seems that these allegations by the government of Canada are primarily politically driven”, Bagchi added.

The spokesperson faced a volley of questions over the row between the two countries following the tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats.

Bagchi also said the Canadian government has been informed of “parity” in diplomatic presence. “We informed the Canadian government to have parity with diplomatic presence, their numbers are higher and I assume there will be a reduction”, he said.

Bilateral relations between India and Canada have hit a downward spiral after Prime Minister Trudeau on Monday alleged that “Indian agents” were behind the shooting of Hardeep Nijjar.

Visa services provider BLS International has with immediate effect suspended Indian visa services in Canada. BLS International Services Limited is an Indian outsourcing service provider for government and diplomatic missions worldwide. The company manages visa, passport, consular, attestation and citizen services.

“Due to operation reasons, with immediate effect i.e. September 21, 2023, Indian visa services in Canada have been suspended till further notice”, the company informed stock exchanges in a filing on Thursday.

Nijjar, chief of banned Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) and a ‘designated terrorist’, was killed in a targeted shooting at British Columbia in Canada’s Surrey in June 2018.

India has rejected the allegations by the Trudeau administration, terming them “absurd” and “motivated”. “We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister. Allegations of Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated”,  MEA had said in a statement.

“Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister and were completely rejected. We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to the rule of law”, it added.

India on Tuesday expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a reciprocal move to Canada expelling a senior Indian diplomat in light of the claim of New Delhi’s involvement in the killing of the wanted separatist leader. The MEA had said that the Canadian diplomat was asked to leave India within the next five days. (ANI)

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