Amid the India-Canada diplomatic crisis over separatist leader Hardeep Sing Nijjar’s assassination, reports said Indian agencies informed the Canadian government about all his terrorist activities and how he fled to Canada in 1997 but Canada did not take any action. Citing sources, news agency PTI reported that Nijjar had applied for asylum in Canada claiming that he feared persecution in India because he belonged to “a particular social group”. But Nijjar’s asylum was rejected on grounds of fabricated narrative. Nijjar had gone to Canada in 1997 using a counterfeit passport under the alias Ravi Sharma. Read | When India handed over list of Khalistani operatives to Canada’s Trudeau in 2018 that included Nijjar’s name
After his asylum was rejected, Nijjar entered into a “marriage” agreement with a woman who sponsored his immigration. And this happened just 11 days after his first claim was rejected. This marriage arrangement was also rejected by Canada as the woman arrived in Canada in 1997 under the sponsorship of a different husband. “Nijjar appealed against the rejection in courts of Canada although he kept claiming himself to be a citizen of Canada. He was later granted Canadian citizenship, the circumstances of which are not clear,” the report said.
An Interpol Red Corner Notice was issued against Nijjar in November 2014. Nijjar had over a dozen criminal cases of murder and other terrorist activities against him in India. Details of the cases were shared with the Canadian authorities but no action was taken. The Canadian government only put Nijjar on a no-fly list and took no further action even after the RCN.
Nijjar was killed on June 18 at a parking lot of a gurdwara in British Columbia. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau alleged India’s role in the assassination, a charge that India rejected and sought evidence in support of Canada’s public claim. This has led to a spiralling diplomatic crisis as Canada asserted that it has human and signal intelligence behind its allegations. A CBC report said the intelligence included communications involving Indian officials, among them Indian diplomats present in Canada, adding that some of the intelligence was provided by an unidentified ally in the Five Eyes alliance. Five Eyes is an intelligence-sharing network that includes the U.S., the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
India on Thursday suspended visa services in Canada and termed Canada as a safe haven for terrorists.
(With PTI inputs)