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"India was convicted even without...": Indian envoy response to Canada on Nijjar killing probe

Ottawa: Indian High Commissioner to Canada Sanjay Kumar Verma has raised objections to the fact that New Delhi was "convicted" even as the investigation into the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjat on Canadian soil was not fully concluded.
Urging Canada to release evidence to back up its allegation in connection with the killing, the Indian envoy maintained that New Delhi would look into anything "very specific and relevant" is communicated to them to back up Justin Trudeau's allegations.
In an interview with CTV news channel, the high commissioner was asked about the allegations raised by Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau of possible Indian government's involvement in Nijjar's killing.
Responding to this, Verma said, "There are two points on that. One is that, even without the investigation being concluded, India was convicted. Is that a rule of law?"
On being asked "how was India convicted", the high commissioner said, "Because India was asked to cooperate and if you look at the typical criminal terminology, when someone asks to cooperate, it means you have already been convicted and you better cooperate".
"So, we took it in a very different interpretation. But, we have always said that if there is anything very specific and relevant, and communicated to us. We will look into it," the Indian envoy added.
Ties between India and Canada have been strained after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made allegations of Indian involvement in the murder of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil earlier this year. Nijjar was shot dead outside Gurdwara in Canada's Surrey on June 18.
India had rejected the allegations and called them "absurd and motivated" and expelled a Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move after Ottawa asked a senior Indian diplomat to leave.
Notably, Canada has not been able to present any evidence to back its claims over the killing, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.
Earlier this week, India resumed the electronic visa services for eligible Canadian citizens with effect from November 22, 2023. This came after India decided to resume visa services in Canada for four categories after a considered review of the security situation last month.
In October, Canada pulled out 41 diplomats from India and also halted its visa and consular services in Chandigarh, Mumbai, and Bengaluru consulates in the wake of the Union government's decision to strip them of their immunity.
This came after New Delhi conveyed its concerns to Ottawa over the disproportionate number of diplomats in India and sought a 'parity' in diplomatic strength.

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