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SOURCE: ANI

 Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly has said that Ottawa continues to stand by the allegations that Indian agents were involved in the killing of India-designated terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar despite no proof that shows New Delhi’s involvement, according to Canada-based media channel, Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC).

Speaking to reporters, Joly said that the investigation into the killing of Nijjar is being conducted by Royal Canadian Mounted Police. She stated that Canada will continue to protect its citizens, CPAC reported.

“Canada’s position has always been clear. Our job is to protect Canadians and we stand by the allegations that a Canadian was killed on Canadian soil by Indian agents. Now, the investigation by the RCMP is being done,” Joly said.

“I won’t further comment and no other official from our government will further comment but I am telling do on the question of relationship with India is I think that is always better when diplomacy remains in private and Canada will continue to stand by first protecting Canadians, making sure that we also protect our sovereignty and in the end also we need to protect our rule of law,” she added, according to CPAC.

Her statement comes after Canadian Police on Friday announced the arrest of three accused in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. However, Canadian Police personnel have also not given any evidence of any link to India as was being speculated in Canadian media.

Members of the Sikh Community from British Columbia crowded a Surrey courtroom on Tuesday as three Indian nationals accused of Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing made their first court appearance by video, according to Globe and Mail, a Canada-based news website.

As the trio, dressed in orange jumpsuits, appeared before court, pro-Khalistani protesters chanted slogans and held placards, outside the Surrey provincial court, blaming India’s government for the killing.

Judge Delaram Jahani questioned the three suspects, Karan Brar, Karanpreet Singh, and Kamalpreet Singh, in brief. Through their attorneys, Brar and Karanpreet Singh decided to appear again on May 21. The court, however, is yet to decide on a new date for Kamalpreet Singh who has sought legal counsel, the Globe and Mail reported.

The three men were taken into custody in Edmonton last week on Friday and are accused of first-degree murder and murderous conspiracy in connection with the June 2023 shooting of Nijjar, which severely damaged Canada’s relations with India.

Notably, ties between India and Canada have been strained after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused agents of the Indian government of killing Nijjar. However, India has dismissed the accusations as “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. 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.”

Last week, Canadian police released photographs of all three persons arrested in the killing of India-designated terrorist, Nijjar last year amid an ongoing probe into alleged connections of the Indian government.

Along with photographs of the three accused, the Canadian police 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.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) of Surrey, RCMP had 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 Nijjar.