Surveillance of Indian Envoys in Canada Gives Rise to Accusations Concerning Sikh Activist’s Death, Official States

by Gabriel Martinez
India-Canada Diplomatic Tensions

Based on monitoring activities targeting Indian diplomats residing in Canada, allegations have arisen implicating India in the murder of a Canadian Sikh, according to a high-ranking Canadian official who spoke to The Big Big News. This official, who requested anonymity due to lack of authorization to disclose the issue, revealed that certain intelligence was contributed by one of the member nations of the “Five Eyes” intelligence consortium, which is comprised of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

While the official declined to name which “Five Eyes” country provided the intelligence or delve into specific details regarding the nature of the intercepted communications, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was the first to disclose the information.

In a further escalation of tensions between India and Canada, New Delhi ceased issuing visas to Canadian nationals and called for a downsizing of Canada’s diplomatic corps in the country. The tensions surfaced after Canada accused India of possible involvement in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a 45-year-old Sikh separatist, in a suburb of Vancouver in June.

Relations between India and Canada have deteriorated to an unprecedented low following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s public statement earlier this week. Trudeau claimed there were “credible allegations” implicating India in the assassination of the activist.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a plumber by trade who gained Canadian citizenship in 2007 after being born in India, was targeted and fatally shot near a temple he managed in Surrey. He had been sought by Indian authorities for several years prior to his death.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, Trudeau acknowledged the sensitive diplomatic landscape, stating that the decision to discuss these allegations was not made lightly. Trudeau emphasized Canada’s commitment to the rule of law and the protection of its citizens.

The sensational claims have triggered a reciprocal expulsion of diplomats between the two nations, with India labeling the allegations as “absurd.” Canada’s U.N. Ambassador, Bob Rae, indicated that corroborative evidence might not be forthcoming in the near future.

In light of the situation, the entity responsible for processing Indian visas in Canada announced a suspension of services until further notice, affecting a significant number of Canadians who frequently travel to India.

Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson for the Indian External Affairs Ministry, attributed the suspension of visa services to unspecified security threats. Meanwhile, the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi disclosed that their diplomats had received threats online and called for India to provide adequate security measures.

In recent developments, India has cautioned its citizens to exercise vigilance when traveling to Canada due to rising anti-India sentiments and politically sanctioned hate crimes. While India has long been active in intelligence operations across South Asia, orchestrating the killing of a Canadian citizen would be an unprecedented act.

Tensions between the two nations have been further exacerbated by political and strategic interests, particularly regarding India’s concerns about Sikh separatist groups active in Canada. The diplomatic fissure between the countries became more evident during the recent G-20 summit hosted by India, where frosty interactions were observed between Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Indian National Investigation Agency also announced an intensified crackdown on Sikh insurgents, offering monetary rewards for information that could lead to arrests.

Contributors to this report include Big Big News correspondents Ashok Sharma and Krutika Pathi, reporting from New Delhi.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about India-Canada Diplomatic Tensions

What is the primary issue causing tension between India and Canada?

The primary issue causing diplomatic tension between India and Canada is the allegation that India may be involved in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian Sikh activist. The claim is based on surveillance activities targeting Indian diplomats in Canada and intelligence provided by a member of the “Five Eyes” intelligence consortium.

Who first reported the intelligence regarding the allegation?

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) was the first to report the intelligence regarding the allegations against India.

What actions have been taken by India and Canada following these allegations?

In response to the allegations, India ceased issuing visas to Canadian nationals and asked Canada to reduce its diplomatic staff in India. Canada reciprocated by expelling an Indian diplomat. Both nations are currently at a low point in their diplomatic relations.

What was the role of Hardeep Singh Nijjar before his death?

Hardeep Singh Nijjar was a 45-year-old Sikh separatist and a plumber by trade. He became a Canadian citizen in 2007 after being born in India. He was also the leader of a temple in Surrey and had been wanted by Indian authorities for several years prior to his killing.

What did Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau say about the situation?

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that the decision to bring forth these allegations was not made lightly. He emphasized Canada’s commitment to the rule of law and to the protection of its citizens.

What has been the impact on visa services between the two countries?

The entity responsible for processing Indian visas in Canada announced a suspension of services until further notice, affecting Canadians who don’t already possess visas for travel to India.

How has the international community responded?

The report indicates that the allegations have led to a reciprocal expulsion of diplomats, but does not provide specific details on the international community’s broader response.

Is there public evidence to back Trudeau’s allegations?

As of now, Canada has not provided public evidence to substantiate the allegations against India. Canada’s U.N. Ambassador, Bob Rae, indicated that corroborative evidence might not be made public in the immediate future.

What has been India’s response to the allegations?

India has labeled the allegations as “absurd” and has also called for a reduction in Canadian diplomatic staff in India.

What are the long-term implications for India-Canada relations?

The long-term implications are currently uncertain but the diplomatic relations are at an unprecedented low. Both countries have significant defense, trade, and strategic interests to consider, and the tension has begun to impact these areas negatively.

More about India-Canada Diplomatic Tensions

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EconGeek September 22, 2023 - 2:06 am

Wonder how this is gonna impact trade between the two countries. They’ve had strong ties before, what a mess.

GlobalCitizen September 22, 2023 - 2:51 am

The fact that Five Eyes is involved gives this an entirely new dimension. I mean, that’s big league intelligence sharing right there.

FrequentTraveler September 22, 2023 - 8:42 am

This visa suspension is a real headache. Had a trip planned to India next month. Guess that’s not happening anymore…

TechySam September 22, 2023 - 9:09 am

This could have ripple effects in many sectors, including tech and finance. Both countries need to resolve this ASAP.

Anita_Q September 22, 2023 - 9:11 am

What about evidence? All this is causing so much trouble and we havent seen any solid proof yet.

HarmanP September 22, 2023 - 1:52 pm

As a Sikh, this makes me really concerned. It’s not just about India and Canada. It affects the whole community worldwide.

LucasT September 22, 2023 - 3:00 pm

So Trudeau speaks up and suddenly we’re in a diplomatic crisis? Gotta give it to the guy, he doesn’t mince words.

PoliticalWatch September 22, 2023 - 3:59 pm

Honestly, diplomacy is such a tricky game. Both countries have so much to lose. it’s a delicate balance, for sure.

Mike_D September 22, 2023 - 10:23 pm

So India and Canada are at a standoff now? All because of some secret intel we dont even have access to? sounds shady to me.

SarahJ September 23, 2023 - 12:34 am

Wow, this is big news! Didn’t see this coming at all. Makes me wonder what’s really goin on behind those diplomatic doors.


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