Diaspora politics can often be testy. While the mother country maintains its own fashioned narrative, governed by domestic considerations, the diaspora may, or may not be in accord with the agreed upon story. While countries such as China and Iran are seen as the conventional bullies in this regard, spying and monitoring the activities of their citizens in various countries, India has remained more closeted and inconspicuous.
Of late, that lack of conspicuousness has been challenged. On September 18, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed that there were “credible allegations” that agents in the pay of the Indian government had murdered Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a vocal supporter for an independent Sikh homeland known as Khalistan and deemed by Indian authorities since 2020 to be a terrorist. He was alone in his truck when he was shot to death on June 18 outside the Surrey temple, Guru Nanak Gurdwara.
While the death remains under investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Trudeau was convinced enough time had lapsed to warrant open mention. After all, Pavan Kumar Rai, the Canadian head of New Delhi’s foreign intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), had been expelled by Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly as a direct consequence of the acts.
In his statement to the House, Trudeau revealed that Canadian security agencies had been pursuing such links between New Delhi and the Nijjar’s death. “Our top priorities have therefore been 1) that our law enforcement and security agencies ensure the continued safety of all Canadians, and 2) that all steps be taken to hold the perpetrators of this murder to account.” The matter had also been raised with Indian President Narendra Modi at the G20 summit.

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