Canada is not trying to 'provoke' India, or escalate tensions by suggesting its agents were linked to the murder of a Sikh separatist leader, but Ottawa wants New Delhi to address the issue properly, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday.
Earlier today, India dismissed the Canadian government's accusations as absurd.
Trudeau's remarks came hours after a Canada and India expelled a senior diplomat, following his allegations about the involvement of 'agents of the Indian government' in the killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June.
The Indian government needs to 'take this matter with the utmost seriousness', he said.
Nijjar, 45, was killed on June 18 by two unidentified gunmen outside a gurdwara in Surrey in the western Canadian province of British Columbia, the chief of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force.
Canada's security agencies are actively pursuing credible allegations of a possible link between the Government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, he said. Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly, Canada's foreign minister, confirmed in a statement that she has ordered the expulsion of a senior Indian diplomat. India on Tuesday rejected Trudeau's claims, calling them 'absurd and motivated'. The Ministry of External Affairs has also asked a Canadian diplomat to leave India within the next five days.
's involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated,' said the MEA in a statement in New Delhi.
In July 2020, Canada-based Nijjar was designated as a 'terrorist' by India under the stringent Unlawful Activities Act, and his property in the country was attached in September 2020 by the National Investigation Agency.
In 2016, Interpol issued a Red Corner Notice against him. The police in Surrey also had placed Nijjar under house arrest temporarily in 2018, on suspicion of his terror involvement, but he was released later.
The relationship between Canada and India has been tense in recent times. The trade talks have been derailed, and Canada has just cancelled trade talks.