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Hardeep Singh Nijjar: The Khalistani Separatist Whose Death Strained Indo-Canadian Relationships

Hardeep Singh Nijjar

Hardeep Singh Nijjar was an infamous Khalistani separatist who had fanned the flames of Khalistan for years from his haven in Canada. Hardeep Singh Nijjar was recently killed in Canada. Surprisingly, the Canadian Government accused India of assassinating a Canadian on Canadian soil. Tensions boiled and diplomatic relations worsened. Here’s more.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s Life And Death

India-Canada relations appear to be deteriorating due to the death of terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Khalistani. The top Indian diplomat has been kicked out of Canada by the Justin Trudeau administration. India has been accused by Canada of being involved in Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s murder.  In June of this year, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a terrorist affiliated with Khalistani, was shot and killed in Surrey, Canada. Two young people shot Nijjar at the Surrey Gurudwara parking lot.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar was a most wanted terrorist

The Indian government’s list of the most wanted terrorists included Hardeep Singh Nijjar. After his name surfaced in numerous violent and criminal cases in India, he was added to the list of terrorists who needed to be apprehended. 

Hardeep Singh Nijjar was listed among the terrorists published in 2020. Avtar Singh Khanda of the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) had passed away in Britain a few days prior, aside from these two. Khanda was suffering from blood cancer. Amritpal, a supporter of Khalistan, and Waris Punjab De were both established in Punjab thanks in large part to Khanda.

Similarly, terrorist Harvinder Singh Rinda of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) was assassinated in Lahore last year. Rinda had carried out multiple terrorist attacks by using drones to deliver weapons to Punjab with the assistance of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar was from Punjab

The head of the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) was Hardeep Singh Nijjar. His native home was in the Punjabi district of Jalandhar, in the village of Birsinghpur, close to Shahkot. Hardeep Singh Nijjar was living in Canada for several years.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s whereabouts were discovered via NIA raids in Punjab

In an effort to target individuals connected to Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s group, the NIA conducted raids in numerous Punjabi areas before Nijjar’s death. The NIA conducted this raid in response to information that, in addition to collecting money for the KTF, KTF members were involved in drug and weapon smuggling and cross-border trafficking.

The Khalistan movement has a bloody history

Long a cause of strain in the Canada-India relationship, which experts claim is currently at an all-time low, has been the Sikh separatist movement.

India has been adamantly against the demand for Khalistan. Every major political party, including those in Punjab, has condemned secession and acts of violence.

An armed rebellion that was ultimately put down in the 1980s marked the height of the demand for Khalistan in India. Thousands of people lost their lives in the conflict.

Additionally, two of the most contentious events in Indian history were brought about by the movement.

The Golden Temple, the Sikhs’ holiest site, was overrun by Indian troops in an attempt to drive out armed separatists who had taken refuge there. The action, which was directed by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at the time, damaged the temple and left many people dead.

Two of her Sikh bodyguards, displeased with her orders, shot her dead a few months later. Days of unrest in Delhi following her death resulted in the deaths of thousands of Sikhs.

However, several parties vehemently oppose the movement, and it is currently not very popular in Punjab.

Its origins in the 1980s can also be seen in Britain and Canada, as diaspora groups responded to developments in India.

When a bomb went off on an Air India flight from Toronto to London in 1985, killing all 329 persons on board, the matter reached a boiling point.

In 2005, two Sikh separatists in British Columbia were found not guilty of murder and conspiracy after a protracted trial. A third guy was convicted of manslaughter due to his involvement in the bomb’s construction.

Canada has been criticised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on several occasions for not doing enough to put an end to Sikh rallies and “anti-India” actions in the country.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar was notorious for targeted murders in Punjab

In Punjab, terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar used to carry out target killings. In addition, Nijjar organised anti-Indian protests outside the Indian embassies in the United States, Canada, Britain, and Germany. During these protests, he disseminated false information and propaganda against India. The NIA had set a reward of Rs 10 lakh for Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar escaped to Pakistan in 1990

In a span of two months, two prominent terrorists who were on the radar of the central security forces and were causing havoc in Punjab and the country by living outside were shot and killed. It’s unclear, nevertheless, who is responsible for these killings. Paramjit Singh Panjwad, the head of the terrorist group Khalistan Commando Force (KCF), was killed in Lahore. Panjwad was shot after entering the Johar town Sunflower Society.

Since 1990, Panjwad has sought safety in Pakistan. There, he was residing under the name Malik Sardar Singh. Village Panjwar, under the jurisdiction of Jhabbal police station in the Tarn Taran district of Punjab, was home to Paramjeet Singh Panjwad. In 2020, the Union Home Ministry published a list of nine terrorists, Paramjit Singh Panjwad’s name coming in at number eight. In Canada, Hardeep Singh Nijjar is the victim of the second murder. Also, he was shot by unidentified gunmen.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar had a huge bounty on his head

The India National Investigation Agency, which looks into terrorism-related offenses in the nation, said in July 2022 that any information leading to Mr. Nijjar would earn a $1.2 million prize.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s first terrorism allegations surfaced in 2016

In 2016, media allegations about his alleged terrorist activities first appeared in India and then Canada.

India at the time informed Canadian authorities of its worries regarding Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

In 2016, the Canadian police declared that they were cognizant of the accusations made against Hardeep Singh Nijjar; nonetheless, no charges were brought against him there.

That year, Hardeep Singh Nijjar addressed the accusations in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar was a self described “Sikh Nationalist”

He described himself as a “Sikh nationalist who believes in and supports Sikhs’ right to self-determination and independence of Indian occupied Punjab through a future referendum” in the letter, which was covered by Canadian media at the time.

However, he stated: “I have never believed in, supported, or been involved in any violent activity.”

As part of a global campaign by the US-based organisation Sikhs for Justice, which is prohibited in India, he was organising a non-binding referendum for Sikhs residing in British Columbia about the establishment of an independent state in India at the time of his murder.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar made a speech the day before he was assassinated, urging the people who belonged to his temple to cast ballots in the referendum because he believed it would send a clear message to the Indian government.

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