• Monday, June 17, 2024

Canada

Canada minister hits back at India’s Jaisahankar over Nijjar murder arrest remarks: ‘We’re not lax’

Jaishankar had earlier accused Ottawa of granting visas to individuals with links to organised crime, overlooking warnings from New Delhi.

(L-R) Indian external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP) (Photo by ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images) and Canadian immigration minister Marc Miller (Photo by LARS HAGBERG/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

CANADIAN immigration minister Marc Miller has brushed aside Indian external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar’s recent remarks on the arrest of three Indian men in connection with the murder of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia in June last year.

While he acknowledged that the Indian diplomat had the right to express his own thoughts, he dismissed the former’s remarks as inaccurate, Canada’s Cable Public Affairs Channel reported.

“We are not lax. And the Indian foreign minister is entitled to his opinion. I’m going to let him speak his mind. It’s just not accurate,” Miller was quoted as saying.

Leaders from both sides have been speaking to the media ever since the three men, all in their 20s, were arrested by the Canadian police last week.

Read: Nijjar murder accused Brar has no criminal past in India

Jaishankar had earlier accused Ottawa of granting visas to individuals with links to organised crime, overlooking warnings from New Delhi.

He also said that Canada was granting legitimacy to “extremism, separatism, and advocates of violence” in the name of free speech. He even alleged that Canada was harbouring people with leanings towards Pakistan and had organised themselves into political lobbies.

Read: Canada has ‘political compulsion’ to blame India: Jaishankar

Answering these charges, Miller said Canada’s policies are not lax. While refusing to give specific details about the visa status of the arrested individuals, the Canadian minister directed inquiries to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), suggesting that police were probing the incident.

On Saturday (4), the RCMP released photographs of the three arrested men and they were identified as Karan Brar, 22; Karanpreet Singh, 28; and Kamalpreet Singh, 22.

Nijjar was shot dead outside a gurdwara in Surrey in British Columbia on June 18 last year. A video clip surfaced showing his killing by some unidentified assailants. The murder of the Canadian citizen led to a serious diplomatic row between India and Canada with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau alleging that India was involved in the plot. New Delhi denied it saying the claim was absurd and motivated.

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