Home News 4th Indian national arrested in murder of Sikh separatist leader in Canada

4th Indian national arrested in murder of Sikh separatist leader in Canada



A fourth Indian national has been arrested in the audacious murder of a Sikh separatist leader in Canada last year.

Amandeep Singh, 22, was already in custody on an unrelated case before he was identified as a suspect in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, police said late Saturday.

Nijjar was gunned down outside the house of worship he led, Guru Nanak Gurdwara, in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey on June 18.

Earlier this month, three Indian nationals who were temporary residents of Canada — Kamalpreet Singh, 22, Karan Brar, 22, and Karanpreet Singh, 28 — were arrested and charged with Nijjar’s murder. They had their first court appearances last week.

Nijjar was a prominent advocate for the creation of an independent Sikh nation, to be called Khalistan, in what is currently the Sikh-majority Indian state of Punjab.

India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist and sought his extradition from Canada in 2016, though it was rejected.

Prior to his death, Nijjar had been told people were trying to kill him. However he never traveled with security. Witnesses told police two men opened fire as Nijjar stood in the gurdwara’s parking lot.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in September there was credible evidence the Indian government was behind Nijjar’s murder. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was appalled by the accusation and sent dozens of Canadian diplomats home in response.

Amandeep Singh is believed to be one of the two gunmen, sources told Global News in Canada. He was arrested in November 2023 in the Toronto suburb of Brampton on gun and drug charges and had been detained ever since, according to Global News.

Police said the four suspects may have ties to India’s Bishnoi crime group, Global News reported. Amandeep Singh was arrested alongside four other men when he was detained outside Toronto.

In late November 2023, the FBI announced it had foiled a similar-sounding plot to murder another prominent Sikh activist, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, in New York. According to charging documents in that case, Pannun and Nijjar were both targets of the Indian government.

Indian leaders have insisted the government had no role in the killing of Nijjar or any plot against Pannun.

The Sikh independence movement was strongest in the 1980s but the insurgency was crushed by a violent government crackdown that killed thousands. In 1984, Indian forces attacked an armed Sikh group at Sikhism’s holiest site, the Golden Temple.

After Indian forces captured the temple, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her bodyguards, who were both Sikh.

With News Wire Services

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