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Khalistani Group Calls For Closure Of Indian Consulates In Canada In Response To Nijjar's Killing

A pro-Khalistani group has called for the closure of Indian consulates in Canada and announced plans for peaceful protests set to commence next week. This comes in the wake of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's accusation that New Delhi played a role in the assassination of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar .

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a key figure leading the Khalistani referendum efforts in Canada, was fatally shot in the parking lot of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, immediately following evening prayers on June 18th of this year.

The organisation Sikhs for Justice, which has been banned in India, has announced plans for demonstrations scheduled to occur outside Indian consulates in Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver on September 25, as reported by Global News based in Vancouver.

“We will not allow the Indian consulates to function and we’re going to push the Canadian government to name the individuals who are responsible for assassinating and giving the orders to hit Nijjar,” Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, SFJ’s legal counsel, told Global News.

“He has been assassinated outside the gurdwara — that was being done to give a very strong message to pro-Khalistan Sikhs that they will be hunted, even in the Western world,” Pannun said.

According to statements made to the news channel, the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) will additionally demand the removal of Indian High Commissioner to Canada, Sanjay Verma.

Canada took action on Monday by expelling a high-ranking Indian diplomat, Pavan Kumar Rai, in response to Prime Minister Trudeau's assertions of “credible allegations of a potential link” between agents of the Indian government and the assassination of Nijjar. Although Foreign Minister Melanie Joly did not initially disclose the diplomat's name, her office later confirmed that he was the RAW station chief in Canada.

Describing Trudeau's disclosure as "unprecedented," Jaskaran Sandhu, a board member with the World Sikh Organisation of Canada, was quoted in Global News as stating that he wouldn't be surprised if protests outside consulates occur before September 25 as well.

“People are livid right now. This is a news story that obviously has shaken the whole country. It’s also a news story that has shaken the community to a certain extent,” he said in an interview.

Trudeau, who faced diplomatic tensions during his recent visit to India, stated, "Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty."

In defiance of New Delhi's protests, Canada has witnessed an ongoing anti-India campaign, marked by pro-Khalistani graffiti and posters targeting Indian diplomats and temples throughout the nation.

Outside the Indian consulate in Toronto, showcasing "Kill India" posters, prompted External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar to assert that Canada seemed to be permitting these demonstrations driven by electoral considerations.

In the meantime, Canada is scheduled to conduct a second referendum on October 29 to gauge support for Khalistan. This referendum will also pose the question to voters regarding the responsibility of the Indian high commissioner for Nijjar's death.