Family and Friends Seek Justice After Shocking Revelations in Sikh Leader’s Murder Case

Tue Sep 19 2023
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OTTAWA: The shocking murder of Sikh community leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, and the recent revelations concerning India’s involvement, have ignited a wave of reactions and calls for justice among family members, friends, and the Sikh community in Canada and across the world.

Hardeep Nijjar, 45, was fatally shot just before 8:30 PM on Father’s Day outside the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Surrey, where he had served as president for four years. Known for his advocacy of Khalistan, the separate Sikh state in India, Nijjar was also a volunteer with Sikhs for Justice, a US-based organization leading the Khalistan movement.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement in the House of Commons that Canadian national-security authorities possess credible intelligence suggesting India’s involvement in the murder has brought a sense of relief to Hardeep Nijjar’s family, dispelling speculations that his death may have resulted from trivial disputes.

Nijjar’s closest friend, Moninder Singh, emphasized that Hardeep stood up for what he believed in and ultimately paid the price for his opinions. He explained that there had been an unspoken stigma surrounding Nijjar and his family since the murder, which has now been lifted.

Concern Over Sikh Leader’s Murder

At the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Surrey, where the sense of grief and fear is palpable, some Indian students are reluctant to be photographed due to concerns that speaking in support of Khalistan could result in visa denials from the Indian government.

Guri Singh, one of these students, expressed the desire to feel safe, especially in Canada, but emphasized the dangers faced by Sikhs in India today. Speaking openly about Khalistan can lead to imprisonment and torture in India, according to Singh.

Moninder Singh believes that Hardeep Nijjar’s murder was intended to instill fear within the Sikh community but predicts that it will instead fuel the Khalistan movement, intensifying its pursuit.

Despite rushing to the scene on the night of Nijjar’s death, Moninder Singh couldn’t bring himself to say goodbye, feeling that it was too soon and that justice had to be served before bidding farewell.

The news has also spurred immediate reactions in British Columbia, with calls for the release of more information. British Colombia Premier David Eby expressed deep concern over the allegations and called for coordinated efforts between provincial and federal authorities to ensure the safety of Canadians and protect them from foreign interference.

Former Surrey Liberal MLA Dave Hayer, whose father was a victim of violence, echoed the call for transparency. He emphasized the need to hear from law enforcement agencies and not just politicians to understand the gravity of allegations against a country.

The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO), which has long raised concerns about Indian interference in Canada, commended Prime Minister Trudeau’s statement. WSO president Tejinder Singh Sidhu urged the federal government to identify and bring to justice those involved in Nijjar’s murder and ensure immediate protection for Sikhs in Canada, who face threats from India and its agents.

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the head of Sikhs for Justice and Nijjar’s New York-based lawyer, called for strong action from Ottawa in light of Trudeau’s revelation. He emphasized that the expulsion of an intelligence officer alone would not suffice and that the assassination of Nijjar amounted to an act of terrorism on Canadian soil that demanded justice.

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