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US and Canada putting pressure on India over Sikh leaders assassinations

A year after Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar was killed outside a community shrine near Vancouver, diplomatic and legal actions are intensifying the scrutiny on India’s alleged efforts to suppress overseas Sikh separatist movements through assassinations in both the United States and Canada.

In Canada, an upcoming hearing on June 25 will give prosecutors another opportunity to present evidence supporting their allegations of India’s involvement in Nijjar’s murder.

Meanwhile, Nikhil Gupta, suspected of plotting to kill Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, was extradited from the Czech Republic to the US earlier this month.

Developments in the Nijjar Case in Canada

Four Indian nationals were arrested in May this year in connection with the fatal shooting of Nijjar in June last year.

The individuals arrested are Amandeep Singh, 22; Kamalpreet Singh, 22; Karan Brar, 22; and Karanpreet Singh, 28.

Sikh activists commemorated the first anniversary of Nijjar’s death by staging a mock trial of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi outside the Indian consulate in downtown Vancouver, displaying an effigy of Modi in prison stripes to emphasize their accusations against the Indian government.

The Canadian Parliament honored Nijjar’s assassination anniversary with a moment of silence last week, which provoked an angry response from India. Nijjar, 45, had been labeled a terrorist by the Indian government three years before his death.

Sikhs in Canada continue to hold non-binding referendums on the creation of a separate Sikh nation from India’s Punjab state, with the next vote scheduled for July 28 in Calgary, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The four men accused in Nijjar’s murder will appear in court for a hearing on June 25 in Surrey.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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