Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], September 19 (ANI): Former Punjab Chief Minister and BJP leader Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday dismissed the claims made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that there was an Indian hand in the murder of Khalistani activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar outside a Surrey Gurdwara in June this year.
He said that the murder was the result of a factional feud within the management of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, Surrey in Canada. The former Punjab Chief Minister said that Canadian PM Trudeau had unfortunately walked into a trap owing to vote bank politics and put at stake the diplomatic relationship between India and Canada.
"It was highly irresponsible for the Prime Minister of a country to make a statement without any evidence only because he was playing to the vote bank gallery. It was an irrefutable fact that the Trudeau administration in Canada had given a free hand to anti-India forces in that country," former Punjab CM said.
He said that there was no corrective action taken by the Canadian government Indian missions were attacked and diplomats were intimidated on their soil.
"Has the Canadian government taken any action against the culprits who attacked Indian missions there?" he asked while adding, that Canadian PM Trudeau by leveling such allegations was only trying to deflect the attention from his own failures to curb anti-India activities in that country.
Amarinder Singh said that he had brought it to Trudeau's notice as to how Canadian land was being used against India. He said, when he met Trudeau during his Indian visit in 2018, in an Amritsar hotel, he had shared all the information with him.
"Instead of seeing the Canadian government taking any remedial measures, there was an increase in anti-India activities in that country," he said.
The former Chief Minister appreciated the government of India's decision to expel a Canadian diplomat for his involvement in encouraging anti-India activities.
Trudeau triggered a diplomatic storm on Monday by saying there was"credible evidence" India was responsible for the alleged assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Hailing from Bharsinghpur village in Punjab's Jalandhar, Nijjar was based in Surrey and had been declared "absconder" by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Earlier on Monday, speaking in a debate in the Canadian Parliament, Canadian PM Trudeau claimed his country's national security officials had reasons to believe that "agents of the Indian government" carried out the killing of the Canadian citizen, who also served as the president of Surrey's Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara.
"Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the Government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar," Trudeau said.
He stated that the involvement of a foreign hand or government in the killing of a Canadian citizen in Canada was unacceptable.
Najjar, who was wanted in India, was gunned down outside a Gurdwara, in a parking area in Canada's Surrey, British Columbia on June 18.
Notably, India rejected the allegations by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier today, regarding the Indian government's involvement in the fatal shooting of Khalistan Tiger Force chief and a designated terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada. In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) termed the allegations 'absurd 'and 'motivated'.
"We have seen and rejected the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister," said the MEA in an official statement.
India on Tuesday expelled a senior Canadian diplomat to India in a reciprocal move to Canada expelling a senior Indian diplomat. (ANI)