India’s High Commissioner to Canada, Sanjay Kumar Verma, stated that the Indian government is collaborating with an inquiry from the United States of America (USA) related to a foiled assassination attempt rather than Canada’s investigation into the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a renowned Khalistani extremist in Surrey, British Columbia due disparities in the information shared between the two nations during their respective investigations.
Message from the Indian Diplomat
Speaking to the CTV Question Period host Vassey Kapelos, Sanjay Kumar Verma said that his understanding is that the US authorities have shared more specific information regarding the investigation with India than Canada and that he stressed is likely the differentiation factor in the level of India’s cooperation in both cases.
According to a report from an international media organisation, the United States of America prevented an alleged plan to assassinate Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a designated terrorist on American soil. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the media agency had communicated the concerns about the purported plot to kill Pannun to the Indian authorities.
Earlier in September 2023, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made allegations regarding India’s involvement in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India has called the claims absurd and politically motivated.
Verma said India was absolutely and decidedly not involved in the homicide, terming it a motivated, absurd allegation that caused diplomatic tensions between the two states. One is that the investigation in the case of the US, as far as I know and understand because I do not oversee the India-US Relation, is at a much-advanced stage, and therefore, I presume that there would be better information shared with India.
The Indian diplomat has clarified that the relations between the US and India are not under his jurisdiction. Nevertheless, he indicated an understanding that Indian authorities are actively collaborating with the American investigation, having been provided with legally presentable inputs.
Discussing Canada’s information related to Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing, he mentioned that Indian authorities could not provide a response on the matter due to the possibility that discussions might include specific details of the case. Moreover, he emphasised that allegations and facts alone do not make the information specific and pertinent.
Asked whether Canada’s National Security Advisor (NSA) shared inputs related to the allegations related to Nijjar’s Death, he said, “Until the time it is not specific or relevant to the case, we will not be able to respond to it. There could be a large conversation. Conversations could have allegations and some facts of the case, but allegations and facts do not make it specific or relevant.
Revealing details regarding the inputs shared by the US with India, Verma said that the nexus between gangsters, drug peddlers, terrorists and gun runners in the US and there are beliefs that there are some Indian connections with it, which he stressed that they were not Indian connections.
Those inputs are the nexus between gangsters, drug peddlers, terrorists and gun runners in the US, and there is a belief that some of the Indian connections- now, when I say Indian connections, I do not mean connections with the government of India now when I say Indian connections, I don’t mean the government of India connections, there is 1.4 billion people, so some of the Indian connections are there — they are ready to investigate. Because we have got inputs, which are legally presentable,” Verma told the news agency
On November 22, the Ministry of External Affairs announced that the US had provided information concerning the connection between organised criminals, arms traffickers, terrorists, and others during recent talks on India-US security cooperation.
In response to media inquiries about discussions on security matters between India and the US, the MEA emphasised the seriousness with which India considers such inputs, as they impact its own security interests. The spokesperson noted that the shared information is a matter of concern for both countries, and appropriate follow-up measures are being implemented.