Canada Arrests 3 For Murder Of Sikh Separatist

The suspects were arrested from Edmonton in the Alberta region of Canada as Ottawa works to uncover the Indian spy network working in the country

Canada Arrests 3 For Murder Of Sikh Separatist

Canada on Saturday said that it had arrested three people it claimed were linked to last year's murder of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Nijjar had been hunted down by alleged Indian spies and gunned down outside a Gurudwara outside Vancouver last June. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau subsequently sparked a diplomatic feud with India after he stood in the Canadian parliament and accused New Delhi of orchestrating the murder on Canadian soil.

India accused Nijjar and other Sikh separatist leaders, who have in recent years organised widespread "referendums" for a free homeland for the Sikhs — Khalistan — comprising parts currently controlled by India, of being terrorists.  

New Delhi, however, refuted Ottawa's allegations of carrying out the assassination as it proceeded to pull its diplomats from Canada. Canada responded by removing 41 of its 62 diplomats in the country.

Canada's Royal Mounted Police said in a Friday news conference that the three suspects were living in Canada as non-permanent residents in Edmonton, Alberta, and that they were still investigating their ties to New Delhi. The suspects were identified as Kamalpreet Singh, Karan Brar, and Karampreet Singh.

Canadian authorities said they are in touch with Indian counterparts but described the collaboration as "challenging" and "difficult."

The Canadian authorities intend to charge the men with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. It was unclear whether they would be tried as foreign agents.