'Deeply concerning': Sikh MPs in Britain react to Canada's allegations against India

They said they are raising their concerns directly with the government ministers.

Published: 20th September 2023 05:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th September 2023 05:07 PM   |  A+A-

A collage of British Sikh lawmakers Preet Kaur Gill (L) and Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, used for representational purposes only. (Photo | AP)


LONDON: British Sikh members of Parliament Preet Kaur Gill and Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi have reacted to "concerning" reports emanating from Canada after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged Indian involvement in the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in the country.

The Opposition Labour MPs, who represent heavily Sikh constituencies in England, took to social media on Tuesday to claim they had been contacted by their constituents about allegations by Trudeau in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, the chief of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force.

They said they are raising their concerns directly with the government ministers.

"PM Trudeau's statement on Hardeep Singh Nijjar's murder is deeply concerning," tweeted Gill, who is the MP for Birmingham Edgbaston in the West Midlands region of England.

"It is important that Canada's investigation runs its course, and those responsible see justice. I want to reassure my constituents that I and my colleagues are raising our concerns with ministers," she said.

Dhesi, MP for Slough in south-east England, also tweeted to claim many British Sikhs have been in contact with him over the issue. "Concerning reports coming from Canada. Many Sikhs from Slough and beyond have contacted me; anxious, angry or fearful. Given that Canadian PM Trudeau stated they've been working with close allies, we're in touch with the UK government to ensure justice is delivered," he said.

ALSO READ | Son of Khalistan separatist leader says family 'always suspected' Indian govt's role in his killing

It follows Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's statement in the country's Parliament on Monday that the authorities are "actively pursuing credible allegations" related to Indian government involvement in the murder of Nijjar, a designated terrorist, in British Columbia in June.

In an emergency statement to the House of Commons in Ottawa, Trudeau said that any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen was "an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty".

India has strongly rejected Trudeau's claims as "absurd and motivated" and dismissed a senior Canadian diplomat in a reciprocal move.

"Such unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The inaction of the Canadian government on this matter has been a long-standing and continuing concern," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

Soon after, a UK government spokesperson said Britain is in close touch with the Canadian authorities over the "serious allegations" but declined to comment further.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's spokesperson told reporters later that "work on the trade negotiations will continue as before" and that the UK was "not looking to conflate these issues."

ALSO READ | 'Exercise caution': MEA's advisory to Indians in Canada amid growing tensions between both nations

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