Nijjar The Latest Victim Of Indian State Terrorism

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Khurshid Alam

Rabi' al-Awwal 16, 1445 2023-10-01

News & Analysis

by Khurshid Alam (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 53, No. 8, Rabi' al-Awwal, 1445)

Image Source - Pixbay Free Content

Narendra Modi of India should be treated as an international pariah, not feted as a statesman. The latest outrage committed by India relates to the coldblooded murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, BC. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke about it in the House of Commons on September 18 that came as a shock to most Canadians.

Trudeau had returned from Delhi a week earlier where he participated in the G20 summit hosted by India. While he raised the issue of Indian intelligence agents’ involvement in the June 18 murder of Nijjar with Modi, the latter simply brushed it aside. Instead, he branded the Sikh activist a ‘terrorist’. Modi went further: he accused the Canadian government of not taking action against Sikhs whom he called “terrorists”.

India habitually accuses every activist calling for respect for human rights in India a ‘terrorist’. This label applies more accurately to Modi himself. After all, as chief minister of Gujarat state, Modi had presided over the murder of more than 2,000 Muslims in February 2002.

In April 2002, Human Rights Watch published a detailed report, headlined: “We have no orders to save you.” This was a reference to one of the eye witnesses who narrated what the police had said to him. Modi had ordered the police not to protect Muslims who were being hacked to death by Hindu fascist gangs. Muslim women were raped and pregnant women’s bodies ripped open before hacking them to death. Modi’s role in the Gujarat genocide was so well established that the State Department cancelled his tourist visa and barred him from entry into the United States for nearly 10 years until he became India’s prime minister.

Following Trudeau’s House of Commons announcement, the top Indian intelligence agent, Pavan Kumar Rai, serving under diplomatic cover in the Indian High Commission in Ottawa, was ordered to leave the country. Far from making restitution for their criminal conduct, the Indian regime, in a tit for tat, ordered the expulsion of a Canadian diplomat from Delhi.

The Canadian government has called upon India to cooperate with the investigation to bring Nijjar’s murderers to account. Modi and his Hindu fascist regime are refusing to cooperate. Instead, Modi and his henchmen are demanding that legitimate political activity by Sikhs in Canada be banned.

This mindset speaks volumes about how the Modi regime operates. Religious minorities in India—be they Muslims, Dalits, Sikhs or Christians—are targeted for elimination. While Muslims have borne the brunt of Hindu fascism, other minorities are also badly affected.

Some landmark atrocities against Sikhs must be recounted to provide context. In June 1984, heavily-armed Indian troops backed by tanks, attacked the Golden Temple in Amritsar. This is the holiest of holies in the Sikh religion, akin to the Vatican in Rome. Imagine tanks being sent to attack the Vatican!

Thousands of Sikhs were murdered. This enraged the Sikh community in India. They vowed to take revenge from those responsible for the sacrilege perpetrated against their most sacred place. It was prime minister Indira Gandhi who ordered the assault on the Golden Temple.

The Sikhs proved true to their word. In October 1984, two Sikh bodyguards shot and killed Indira Gandhi. Following her killing, the Indian regime allowed Hindu mobs to carry out a pogrom of Sikhs in Delhi and other cities. More than 3,000 innocent Sikhs were murdered, most of them hacked to death.

This led to the intensification of the Sikh campaign for Khalistan, an independent Sikh state in Punjab. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, tens of thousands of Sikhs were murdered in Punjab. The campaign of killings, abduction and torture was led by the Sikh police chief, KPS Gill. The Sikh movement was crushed but the demand for Khalistan did not die down. It moved abroad to such places as Canada, the US and Britain where a large number of Sikh communities reside.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar was part of the movement in BC organizing a referendum among Sikhs for an independent Khalistan State. He was also president of the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Surrey, BC, a suburb of Vancouver. Thus, he enjoyed considerable support among the Sikh community.

The Modi regime sent its operatives to kill him in Canada. Nijjar was gunned down in his van in the parking lot of the Gurdwara by what the police said were two heavy-set masked men. They have not been arrested or identified. The general opinion is that the murderers, belonging to Indian intelligence agency RAW, have already fled Canada. Their escape was most likely facilitated by the top RAW agent serving under cover in the Indian High Commission in Ottawa.

The Sikh community in Canada has no doubt who the killers are. During rallies to protest Nijjar’s killing, they held posters referring to Indian diplomats in Canada as “killers.”

Canadian officials including Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly have said Ottawa “expects India to fully collaborate with us and ultimately to get to the bottom of this.” Given India’s belligerent attitude and a fascist regime in power, there is little chance that India will cooperate.

In New York for the UN General Assembly session on September 19 to 21, Trudeau shared information with US President Joe Biden and other NATO leaders. He briefed them on what Canada knows about India’s involvement in the murder of a Canadian citizen on its soil. He described it as an “extremely serious matter.”

The CBC, Canadian main broadcast station, revealed in a report that “the Canadian government has amassed both human and signals intelligence in a months-long investigation of a Sikh activist’s death that has inflamed relations with India…

“That intelligence includes communications involving Indian officials themselves, including Indian diplomats present in Canada, say Canadian government sources.” The CBC report went on to reveal that “the intelligence did not come solely from Canada. Some was provided by an unnamed ally in the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.”

Five Eyes intelligence refers to intelligence sharing between Canada, the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand. There is a general perception that the non-Canadian source in the Five Eyes intelligence refers to the US. It is quite plausible since the CIA has capabilities of monitoring communications worldwide.

The presence of Indian intelligence agents as well as Hindutva terrorists belonging to the RSS pose a serious threat to Canadian citizens, especially members of the Sikh community and Muslims who engage in perfectly lawful activities. This has been brought to the attention of the Canadian government by the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) on several occasions but regrettably, without any concrete steps being taken so far.

Such inaction has resulted in the murder of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil. Will the government now take practical steps beyond resorting to verbal condemnations?

In June, Jody Thomas, Trudeau’s national security advisor, stated that India is among the top sources of foreign interference (opens in a new tab) in Canada,” alongside other authoritarian countries… Ms. Thomas has travelled to India twice since Nijjar’s murder. She also accompanied Trudeau for his G20 summit where the Canadian prime minister confronted Modi directly about Indian intelligence agents’ involvement in the Sikh leader’s murder on Canadian soil.

The NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, who himself is Sikh, spoke out about how Canadians of Sikh origin have been denied visas to India. Other activists have been targeted while visiting India to meet family and some have been murdered.

“Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” Trudeau said. Prior to his public announcement in the House of Commons on September 18, Federal Trade Minister Mary Ng postponed a trade mission to India that was slated to take place this month (October).

“In the strongest possible terms, I continue to urge the Government of India to cooperate with Canada to get to the bottom of this matter. I also expect it to reiterate that its position on extra-judicial operations in another country is clearly and unequivocally in line with international law,” Trudeau said. He went on: “Canada is a rule of law country, the protection of our citizens in defence of our sovereignty are fundamental.”

Such statements, strong as they may be, will not bring India into line with its international obligations. It is a regime in the grip of Hindu fascists who have no regard for human life. This point needs to be internalized and Modi should be shunned as a mass murderer and outlaw.

Anything short of this would be interpreted by Modi and his henchmen as a greenlight and more Sikh activists will be murdered in different parts of the world. Biden has a crucial role to play in this. He must decide, together with Canada and other western governments, whether they will tolerate the murder of their citizens on their soil or shun Modi as a terrorist.

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