Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was assassinated by unidentified assailants in British Columbia on June 18, had more than a dozen criminal cases, including murder and terrorism-related charges, pending against him in India. Surprisingly, Canada took no action against him.
The killing of Nijjar, which occurred in a gurdwara parking lot, ignited a major diplomatic dispute between India and Canada. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau even hinted at possible involvement of Indian agents in the assassination.
In response, India dismissed these allegations as baseless and politically motivated, leading to the expulsion of a senior Canadian diplomat in retaliation for Ottawa’s earlier expulsion of an Indian official connected to the case.
Furthermore, India announced the suspension of visa issuance to Canadian citizens, citing “security threats” faced by its high commission and consulates in Canada.
How Nijjar Obtained Canadian Citizenship: Nijjar’s journey to Canadian citizenship began with his involvement in farming and dairy businesses in Punjab’s Jalandhar. In 1996, he entered Canada using a counterfeit passport with the alias “Ravi Sharma.”
Upon arrival, Nijjar sought asylum, claiming he faced persecution in India due to his affiliation with a “particular social group.” However, his asylum claim was rejected due to its fabricated nature.
Undeterred, he entered into a fraudulent “marriage” arrangement with a woman who sponsored his immigration, but this attempt was also rejected as immigration authorities discovered that the woman had previously been sponsored by a different man she had married.
Despite these setbacks, Nijjar persisted with legal appeals while asserting his Canadian citizenship claims. Eventually, on May 25, 2007, he was granted Canadian citizenship, although the circumstances surrounding this grant remain unclear.
How Nijjar Exploited His Canadian Citizenship: In 2014, Interpol issued a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Nijjar. Surprisingly, Canadian authorities took no action against him apart from adding him to the no-fly list.
During the same year, Jagtar Singh Tara, who had been imprisoned for the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, sought Nijjar’s assistance while hiding in Thailand. Nijjar personally traveled to Thailand to aid him. While Tara was arrested and deported, Nijjar, thanks to his Canadian citizenship, evaded scrutiny.
Operating as Tara’s emissary, Nijjar journeyed from Bangkok to Pakistan in November 2014. In Pakistan, he received training and support from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s spy agency, to organize clandestine training camps for Khalistani extremists.
Nijjar’s name surfaced in various terrorism-related incidents, including targeted killings in Punjab. He was even featured on the most-wanted list, presented by former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to Prime Minister Trudeau in February 2018.
Nijjar, along with fellow terrorist Arshdeep, established a terror network and recruited four individuals. They hatched plans to abduct and assassinate individuals of different faiths to instill fear and discord among various segments of Punjab society. Investigations revealed that Nijjar and Arshdeep lured people into committing acts of terrorism by promising visas, lucrative jobs, and substantial earnings in Canada in return.