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India expels Canadian diplomat in row over Sikh leader's killing

INDIA expelled a senior Canadian diplomat today and accused the country of interfering in its internal affairs.

This came a day after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there were credible allegations that India was connected to the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an independence advocate who was gunned down on June 18 outside a Sikh cultural centre in Surrey, British Columbia, and followed the expulsion by Canada of a top Indian diplomat. 

India hit back by describing the allegations as “absurd” and accused Canada of harbouring “terrorists and extremists.”

India has fought against a movement to establish an independent Sikh homeland known as Khalistan since the 1980s, when a raid on separatists in a major temple led to the assassination of a prime minister and a wave of anti-Sikh violence.

Mr Nijjar was wanted by Indian authorities, who accused the activist of involvement in an alleged attack on a Hindu priest in India and had offered a cash reward for information leading to his arrest. 

Mr Nijjar was organising an unofficial referendum on Sikh independence from India at the time of his death.

Mr Trudeau told Parliament on Monday that “any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty.”

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