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Know who was Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar whose murder Justin Trudeau is blaming on India

The then-Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh had handed over a list of wanted criminals to Canada PM Justin Trudeau which included Nijjar's name too. In 2020, the Punjab Government seized 11 kanal and 13.5 marlas of land belonging to Nijjar in his native village.

Canada has expelled a top Indian diplomat in its course of investigation into the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Canadian Prime Minister Justice Trudeau has said in the Canadian Parliament that security agencies are pursuing charges of potential links between agents of the Indian government and the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

India has rejected the allegations calling them absurd and motivated. “Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister and were completely rejected,” the statement by India read.

Nijjar, the head of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Sahib, was shot dead in Surrey by two unidentified assailants on 18 June this year. He was a wanted terrorist by the Indian Government.

  • Who was Hardeep Singh Nijjar?

Hardeep Singh Nijjar was a Khalistani terrorist wanted by the Indian government. The 46-year-old hailed from the village Bhar Singhpura of Jalandhar. He was President of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Sahib in Canada. His name was recently added to the list of designated terrorists by the Indian Government.

In 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) declared a Rs 10 lakh reward on Nijjar after his name appeared in a conspiracy to kill a Hindu priest in Jalandhar, Punjab.

The Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) was behind the conspiracy to kill the Hindu priest. Nijjar was the chief of the Khalistani terrorist organization KTF. Apart from his activities in KTF, Nijjar was also linked to the Khalistani terrorist organization Sikhs For Justice.

He reportedly went to Australia for a ‘Referendum’ voting recently. NIA also booked him in a conspiracy to commit terrorist activities against India.

In its investigation against Nijjar, NIA found that he had made incriminating remarks, published objectionable content and shared media, including photos and videos on social media, with an aim to create tension in India.

As per NIA’s document on Najjar, “The incriminating evidence thus gathered substantiates that he is involved in exhorting seditionary and insurrectionary imputations and also attempting to create disharmony among different communities in India.”

The then-Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh had handed over a list of wanted criminals to Canada PM Justin Trudeau which included Nijjar’s name too. In 2020, the Punjab Government seized 11 kanal and 13.5 marlas of land belonging to Nijjar in his native village.

Nijjar faked documents, was rejected by Canadian immigration several times

The Khalistani terrorist had fled India and arrived in Toronto on 10 February 1997 under the fake name Ravi Sharma. According to Global News, Nijjar used fake identity in order to escape from Indian security for his association with Sikh terrorists.

Nijjar was linked to a Khalistani terrorist organization since the 1990s. He was an associate of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a designated terrorist by the Government of India under the UAPA. Pannu runs a terrorist organisation Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), which has called for the separation of Punjab and has led terrorist activities to spark unrest in the country.

Nijjar was working on organizing the so-called referendum scheduled for 18 September this year. In a statement to Global News, Pannu claimed that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had placed a bounty of 1 million (CAD 16,000) on Nijjar.

How Nijjar lied to immigration officials in Canada

Nijjar reportedly told immigration officials that he was tortured by the Punjab Police who were on the lookout for him in the 1990s. Nijjar’s father and brother were arrested by the police while he continued to escape arrest.

Canadian immigration, however, did not believe Nijjar when in June 1998 he claimed that his life was in danger in India. Immigration officials believed that the letter submitted by Nijjar to support his story was fabricated.

The letter was supposedly written by an Indian physician who said he had treated Nijjar after the police electrocuted his “intesticles”.

The spelling mistake combined with an account found by refugee officials found to be unreliable led them to dismiss Nijjar as “unreliable” and “untrustworthy”.

“The panel does not believe that the claimant was arrested by the police and that he was tortured by the police,” according to the ruling.

Just eleven days after the rejection, Nijjar married a woman from British Columbia who sponsored him to immigrate as her spouse.

In his application form, he denied association with any group that advocated “armed struggle or violence to reach political, religious or social objectives.”

While Nijjar submitted images of the wedding, and wedding invite, officials rejected his claims once again considering it a marriage of convenience.

Moreover, Nijjar’s wife had arrived in Canada in 1997 sponsored by a different husband. Interestingly, in 2001 too, Nijjar appealed to the courts but lost. And yet later he identified himself as a Canadian citizen.

It is still not known whether Nijjar ever received Canadian citizenship having lost the several appeals in the past. Even so, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau while issuing a statement on Tuesday addressed Nijjar as a Canadian citizen.

Nijjar’s anti-India activities and cases against him

Nijjar ran a plumbing business in Surrey. He travelled to Geneva in 2013 to appeal to the UNHRC to recognize the 1984 anti-Sikh violence as a genocide. In what capacity, with whose backing or sponsorship did he manage to reach to a global institution like the UNHRC is worth thinking about.

In June 2014, Nijjar openly called for the separation of the Indian state of Punjab at the UN Headquarters. Five months later, in November 2014, India issued a warrant for Nijjar’s arrest through the Interpol’s National Central Bureau in New Delhi.

The warrant described him as a “mastermind/active member” of the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) terrorist group. The warrant also mentioned that Nijjar’s name had surfaced following the 2007 bombing of the Shingar Cinema in Punjab.

According to the summary of the case, the suspects arrested for the blast confessed that they were “acting under the instructions of Hardeep Singh Nijjar”.

In 2016, a second Interpol notice made fresh allegations against Nijjar, calling him the “mastermind and key conspirator of many terrorist acts in India”.

He was wanted for acts of terrorism and recruitment and fundraising and faced a possible life sentence. Nijjar denied the charges in a letter to Canadian PM Trudeau calling them “baseless and fabricated”.

Moreover, in March 2019, Nijjar was charged with assault but the case was stayed the same December.

Nijjar was also embroiled in a dispute over a commercial printing press which he had taken from Ripudaman Singh Malik, who was acquitted of involvement in the deadly 1985 Air India bombings.

The machine was purchased by Malik and a partner who intended to use it to print Sikh scriptures. Malik handed over the press to Nijjar in November 2020 “for safekeeping”.

But Nijjar refused to return it. Malik was murdered in July 2022. A lawsuit then followed in February 2023 seeking the return of the equipment.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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