Canadian police have said they are investigating an overnight shooting at a South Surrey home that the local community members say belongs to a friend of slain Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, according to a media report on February 2, 2024.
The Shooting Incident
The Surrey Canadian Mounted Police say they first responded to reports of gunshots just after 1:20 AM Pacific Time on February 1, 2024 at a home located near the 2800 Block of 154 Street, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported.
A spokesperson for the British Columbia Gurudwara Council said the home belongs to Simranjeet Singh who was a friend of Nijjar whose killing in Surrey, British Columbia in June 2023 led to a diplomatic row between India and Canada.
Corporal Sarbjit Sangha said officers stayed in the area and spoke to the neighbors and witnesses and are currently reviewing CCTV Footage to find out more about the shooting on February 1, 2024. No one was injured. According to a Canadian media agency said the car had been heavily damaged by gunfire, was found in the area along with multiple bullet holes in the house itself.
Sangha did not confirm how many shots were fired into the house and said police believed that the incident was isolated in nature. “The investigation is in still very early stages so the motive of the shooting has not been determined as of this time,” she said. Moninder Singh, the spokesperson for the British Columbia Gurudwara Council said community members believe that home owner Simranjeet Singh’s connection with Nijjar might have played a part in shooting.
The ties between India and Canada came under severe strain after Canadian PM Justin Trudeau in September alleged a potential involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar killing in Surrey in June 2023. India however rejected the charges calling them as absurd and unmotivated and additionally said the country has a strong commitment to the rule of law.
Moninder Singh states that the brazen middle of the night attack claimed the life of Simranjeet Singh Nijjar’s six-year-old child. “I think that it is just by god’s grace here that people made it out safely,” he said.
He added that Simranjeet had been in touch with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) before the shooting to report being followed after protests and fears for his life. Sangha, however said that due to privacy reasons, she could not confirm if the victim had been in touch with investigators before the shooting on February 1, 2024.