Canadian police say probe into killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar 'active and ongoing'
Integrated Homicide Investigation Team official tells media that police had completed a “fulsome canvass of the area,” following the evidence and are collecting all relevant video footage
The killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar remains an "active and ongoing investigation", the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have said.
Nijjar, the chief of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), was killed in Surrey, British Columbia on June 18. India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020.
The killing of Nijjar, 45, is being investigated by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) of RCMP. “We are aware of reports being made regarding the homicide of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. As this remains an active and ongoing investigation, I’m unable to comment on specific evidence collected by IHIT,” IHIT spokesperson Sergeant Timothy Pierotti told PTI on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Sahib in Surrey, British Columbia where Nijjar was killed has launched an investigation into how The Washington Post newspaper was able to view security camera footage of the June killing.
“We’ve been told by the temple that the video is not for the media, the public because it’s an ongoing investigation. That video won’t be released to anyone. It’s an ongoing investigation,” Gurkeerat Singh, a spokesman for the gurdwara, told Canada's national news agency The Canadian Press. Singh, however, said he has seen the video multiple times. “It wasn’t something done randomly. These people are watching the movement of Hardeep Singh for a while and they know the direction he goes and how he exits the gurdwara,” he said.
Pierotti told the local weekly newspaper Surrey Now-Leader that police had completed a “fulsome canvass of the area,” following the evidence and are collecting all relevant video footage. Nijjar’s son Balraj Nijjar told the local daily that his father had regular meetings with Canadian Security Intelligence Service officers “once or twice a week,” including one or two days before the June 18 killing, with another meeting scheduled for two days later.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has alleged that the Indian government was behind the killing of Nijjar on June 18. India has rejected the allegations as "absurd" and "motivated".
Separately, the Vancouver Sun newspaper on Thursday reported that a man had been arrested for vandalising two large Hindu temples in Surrey. “The suspect and his accomplices are accused of plastering the Hindu places of worship with yellow-red posters. "The posters call for a separate Sikh homeland in India and declare that Indian diplomats in Canada are 'wanted' for the June 18 'assassination' of Khalistani activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar,” the daily reported.
(With inputs from agencies)