Hardeep Singh Nijjar killing: Canadian police release pictures of accused, other evidence

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Ottawa [Canada]: Canadian police on Saturday released photographs of all three persons arrested in the killing of India-designated terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar last year amid an ongoing probe into alleged connections of the Indian government.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in a statement named the three men, all Indian nationals, as Karanpreet Singh, 28, Kamalpreet Singh, 22 and Karan Brar, 22 and released their photographs. The trio were arrested in Edmonton city in Alberta.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) of Surrey, RCMP on Friday (local time) said that on the morning of May 3, IHIT investigators, with the assistance of members from the British Columbia and Alberta RCMP and the Edmonton Police Service, arrested the three men for the June 2023 killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey a suburb in Vancouver.

The trio have now been charged with first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in relation to the homicide. Along with photographs of the three accused, the Canadian police has also released the photographs of the car believed to have been used by the suspects in the time leading up to the homicide, in and around the Surrey area.
Addressing reporters at a news conference on Friday, RCMP Assistant Commissioner David Teboul, who leads the Federal Policing Program in the Pacific Region, emphasised the active nature of the investigation into Nijjar’s murder.

“Three suspects have been arrested and charged for their alleged involvement in the killing of Nijjar…. We are not able to make any comments on the nature of evidence… Nor can we speak behind the motive of murder of Nijjar… However, I will say this matter is very much under active investigation.

“There are separate and distinct investigations ongoing into these matters, certainly not limited to the involvement of the people arrested today, and these efforts include investigating connections to the government of India,” Teboul also said.

Public Safety Minister Dominic Leblanc refrained from confirming any connection to the Indian government, asserting that such inquiries should be directed to the RCMP, CTV News report. “I have full confidence in the security apparatus of the government of Canada and the work of the RCMP, and the work that the (Canadian) Security Intelligence Service does,” Leblanc said.

“The police operation that you see ongoing today confirms that the RCMP take these matters extremely seriously. But questions with respect to particular links or non-links are properly put to the RCMP,” he added, according to CTV News report.

Police personnel have not given any evidence of any link to India as was being speculated in Canadian media. India has repeatedly denied the allegations, terming them “absurd and motivated.” Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was designated a terrorist by India’s National Investigation Agency in 2020, was shot and killed as he came out of a Gurdwara in Surrey in June last year.

On June 18, 2023, the Surrey RCMP received a report of a shooting at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey. First responding members located a man, later identified as Hardeep Singh Nijjar, suffering from fatal gunshot wounds inside a vehicle.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) has been carrying out the investigation. It has continued to work closely with a number of partner agencies and support services across Canada, as far east as Ontario, including the Surrey RCMP, the Alberta RCMP and other Lower Mainland Integrated Teams.

The Canadian police have not given any evidence of any link to India as was being speculated in Canadian media.
Nijjar’s killing triggered diplomatic tensions between Canada and India after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India of being involved in the killing — a claim which India has rejected as “absurd.” The video of his killing that reportedly surfaced in March this year showed Nijjar being shot by armed men in what has been described as a “contract killing”.

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