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3 Indian Nationals Accused Of Hardeep Nijjar Killing Appear Before Canadian Court

08:04 AM May 08, 2024 IST | NEWS Desk
3 indian nationals accused of hardeep nijjar killing appear before canadian court
3 Indian Nationals Accused Of Hardeep Nijjar Killing Appear Before Canadian Court

Ottawa [Canada]: Members of the Sikh Community from British Columbia crowded a Surrey courtroom on Tuesday as three Indian nationals accused of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar's killing made their first court appearance by video, according to Globe and Mail, a Canada-based news website.

As the trio, dressed in orange jumpsuits, appeared before court, pro-Khalistani protesters chanted slogans and held placards, outside the Surrey provincial court, blaming India's government for the killing

Judge Delaram Jahani questioned the three suspects, Karan Brar, Karanpreet Singh, and Kamalpreet Singh, in brief.

Through their attorneys, Brar and Karanpreet Singh decided to appear again on May 21. The court, however, is yet to decide on a new date for Kamalpreet Singh who has sought legal counsel, the Globe and Mail reported.

The three men were taken into custody in Edmonton last week on Friday and are accused of first-degree murder and murderous conspiracy in connection with the June 2023 shooting of Nijjar, which severely damaged Canada's relations with India.

India and Canada are dealing with an unprecedented diplomatic crisis, after the Canadian Prime Minister accused agents of the Indian government of killing Nijjar. However, India has dismissed the accusations as "absurd" and "motivated."

Nijjar was shot and killed after he stepped out of a gurdwara in Surrey, in Surrey a suburb in Vancouver, in June last year. A video clip of his killing reportedly surfaced in March this year, purportedly showing Nijjar being fatally shot by assailants, in what was claimed to be 'contract killing'.

Canadian police, last week, released photographs of all three persons arrested in the killing of India-designated terrorist, Nijjar last year amid an ongoing probe into alleged connections of the Indian government.

Along with photographs of the three accused, the Canadian police also released the photographs of the car believed to have been used by the suspects in the time leading up to the homicide, in and around the Surrey area.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) of Surrey, RCMP had said that on the morning of May 3, IHIT investigators, with the assistance of members from the British Columbia and Alberta RCMP and the Edmonton Police Service, arrested the three men for the June 2023 killing of Nijjar.

On May 4, Canada's New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jagmeet Singh levelled a fresh allegation of India's hand in the killing of Nijjar.

However, the Canadian police administration did not share any evidence linked to India's involvement in the killing of the Khalistani leader.

Jagmeet's party backs the Liberal minority government led by Trudeau in exchange for support on some key bills. After the Canadian Police announced the arrest of three alleged accused in the killing of Nijjar, Jagmeet renewed his claim of an Indian hand in the incident.

"The Indian government hired assassins to murder a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil - at a place of worship. Today 3 arrests were made. Let me be clear - any Indian agent or state actor that ordered, planned or carried out this murder must be exposed and met with the full force of Canadian law. For Canada, democracy and free speech - there must be Justice for Hardeep Singh Nijjar," Jagmeet posted from his X handle.

In 2023, the Canadian PM alleged an Indian hand in the killing, a claim that was vehemently denied by India which called it 'absurd and motivated'. The Canadian Police have also not given any evidence linking India to the killing.

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