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SOURCE: PTI

India on Thursday said Canada has informed it about the arrest of three Indian citizens in the case of killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar but it has not provided any “specific” evidence or information in the matter yet.

“Let me first make it clear that no specific or relevant evidence or information has been shared by the Canadian authorities till date,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said.

“You will therefore understand our view that the matter is being pre-judged,” he said at his weekly media briefing.

Last week, Canadian authorities charged three Indian nationals with the murder of Nijjar. It is reported that they entered Canada on student visas.

“Obviously, there are political interests at work. We have long maintained that separatists, extremists and those advocating violence have been given political space in Canada,” Jaiswal said.

“Our diplomats have been threatened with impunity and obstructed in their performance of duties,” he said.

“We have also pointed to the Canadian authorities that figures associated with organized crime with links with India have been allowed entry and residency in Canada,” he said.

Jaiswal said the two countries are currently engaged in discussions on issues such as the activities of pro-Khalistan elements and threats against Indian diplomats in Canada.

He said many of India’s extradition requests are pending with Canada.

“We are having discussions at the diplomatic level on all these matters,” he said.

India Tuesday hit out at Canada for providing “safe haven” and political space to criminal and “secessionist” elements, in a sharp reaction to pro-Khalistan elements displaying an effigy of the Indian prime minister in an offensive manner at a parade in Ontario’s Malton area.

India also accused Canada of allowing “celebration and glorification” of violence and expressed concerns over the security of Indian diplomats in that country and that it expects Ottawa to ensure that they are able to carry out their responsibilities without fear.

India’s strong reaction came two days after the ‘Nagar Kirtan’ parade in Malton displayed a “float” that contained an effigy of the Indian prime minister reportedly within a cage.

The ties between India and Canada came under severe strain following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations in September last year of a “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Nijjar.

New Delhi rejected Trudeau’s charges as “absurd”.

Last week, Canadian authorities arrested Karan Brar (22), Kamalpreet Singh (22) and Karanpreet Singh (28).

Days after Trudeau’s allegations in September last, India asked Ottawa to downsize its diplomatic presence in the country to ensure parity.

Subsequently, Canada withdrew 41 diplomats and their family members from India.

India has been asserting that its “core issue” with Canada remained that of the space given to separatists, terrorists and anti-India elements in that country.