Protesters gathered in Vancouver last June, after the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. He was shot and killed in the parking lot of the Sikh temple he led in Surrey, Metro Vancouver. (Archive photo)
Tensions between India and Canada
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Tensions between India and Canada
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The document documents communications between Nikhil Gupta and the Indian government employee, as well as with two other contacts: a person Nikhil Gupta allegedly mistook for a hitman, but who was in fact an undercover police officer, according to the #x27;indictment, and a person he allegedly mistook for a criminal associate, and who was in fact a confidential source working with American law enforcement.
According to the indictment, Nikhil Gupta indicated to the latter that the organizers of the assassination plot in India had considerable resources.
< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">On June 9, days before the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Nikhil Gupta reportedly mentioned a big target in Canada. According to the indictment, he told the confidential police informant: We will need a good team in Canada.
According to the indictment, hours after the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the Indian government employee allegedly sent Nikhil Gupta a video showing the victim's bloodied body in his vehicle.
The document alleges that Nikhil Gupta responded that he wished he had carried out the murder himself. It is also indicated that the latter transmitted the video to his undercover contacts.
The indictment claims that in a call with one of them, Nikhil Gupta allegedly said that Hardeep Singh Nijjar was also the target, but that he was not #4, #3 on the list and not to worry [due to] the large number of targets.
The indictment says the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar accelerated the plot to kill the target in the United States.
Nikhil Gupta allegedly warned the person who was a confidential police source that their target would be more cautious after the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, according to the document.
He will be more careful because, in Canada, his colleague is dead, Nikhil Gupta allegedly said, according to the indictment. I sent you the video. So he will be more careful and we should not give them the slightest chance.
Richard Fadden, a former director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), says the U.S. indictment gives weight to credible allegations revealed in September by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, establishing a potential link between agents of the Indian government and the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
I suspect that police in Canada and the United States have been talking about these things in private for some time, he said on CBC.
A sign demanding an investigation into India's role in the assassination of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Temple in Surrey, British Columbia. (File photo)
Richard Fadden says it's impossible to say whether Canadian law enforcement has done so enough to protect Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who had been warned by authorities about threats against him, according to reports.
I think what's been missing is what we call actionable insights. There was clearly a risk, there were clearly threats. But, if we do not have elements allowing us to at least specify the time and place of a possible threat, it is very difficult to do something, he explained.
I like to think that the police, CSIS and other agencies are now looking back at what they knew and wondering if they could have done anything. But it is not possible to provide 24/7 protection to an individual permanently, he added.
A spokesperson for the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Arindam Bagchi, says the country has set up a high-level investigation in response to the act. accusation.
Regarding the prosecution of an individual in a US court allegedly linking him to an Indian official, this is a matter of concern. We have said, and I repeat, that this is also against government policy, he said.
Arindam Bagchi adopted a stronger stance on Canada's allegations.
As for Canada, we have said that it has always made room for anti-India extremists and violence. This is the heart of the problem, he said. We have also noted the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal affairs. This is obviously unacceptable.
According to information from Catharine TunneyandAlex Panetta