NEW DELHI: India’s High Commissioner to Canada Sanjay Kumar Verma urged Ottawa to provide evidence backing its allegations that New Delhi was involved in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Verma, in an interview with Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper, said that Canada’s investigation into the murder has already been tainted by a high-level Canadian official’s public statements on the matter.
“Where is the evidence? Where is the conclusion of the investigation? I would go a step further and say now the investigation has already been tainted,” Verma was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
The relationship between India and Canada took a massive hit after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s allegations in September of a “potential” involvement of Indian agents in Nijjar’s killing in the Canadian town of Surrey in June.
India, which had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020, strongly denied the allegations as “absurd” and “motivated”.
Verma said that despite the strong allegations, Canada has not provided any specific or relevant information in this case for India to assist them in the investigation.
“A direction has come from someone at a high level to say India or Indian agents are behind it,” he said on Saturday, without naming anyone.
The Indian envoy also strongly denied Canada’s allegation and said that India made 26 requests to Ottawa over the past five or six years to extradite people, but Canada did not take any action.
He also opened up about security threats faced by him and several other Indian diplomatic staff operating in Canada.
Verma said he has been given Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) security because of threats to him.
“I feel that is hate speech and an incitement to violence,” Verma said.
He added, “I am concerned about my safety and security. I am concerned about the safety and security of my consul generals. God forbid if something happens.”
On being asked what New Delhi felt was necessary to repair diplomatic relations, the Indian envoy said both sides need to ensure any disputes are dealt with “through professional communication and professional dialogue.”
However, he added that India expects Canada to “rein in Khalistan supporters”.
Notably, external affairs minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said that there is “room for diplomacy” to address the diplomatic row between India and Canada.
He said both sides have been in touch and hoped that a way would be found to resolve the row. At the same time, he asserted that “sovereignty and sensitivity” cannot be one-way streets.
(With inputs from agencies)
Watch India-Canada diplomatic row: Indian High Commission asks Canada to produce evidence in Nijjar’s killing

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