CANADA: Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a prominent figure in the Khalistani movement, was fatally shot on Monday in Canada. The incident occurred at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, a city known for its significant Punjabi population. Nijjar, who held a leadership position at the Surrey Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, played a pivotal role in organizing the Khalistan referendum in Brampton.
At the age of 46, Nijjar was affiliated with the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), an outlawed separatist group in India. The Indian government had previously urged Canadian authorities to take action against Nijjar due to his alleged involvement in terrorist activities in the Punjab state.
Recognized as a notorious individual associated with acts of violence and subversion, Nijjar was officially designated as a “wanted terrorist” by the Indian government. Recently, his name was included on a list of 40 additional terrorists identified by the government.
In 2020, the Punjab government ordered the confiscation of 11 kanals and 13.5 marlas of land owned by Hardeep Nijjar in Bhar Singapura, Jalandhar district. While Nijjar’s parents regularly visit the area, his family, including his four brothers, are members of the village’s panchayat. Nijjar and his siblings received 5.5 acres of property from his unmarried uncle, but he had been absent from the community for several years.
In 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) announced a reward of Rs. 10 lakhs for any information leading to the capture of Nijjar. He faced charges in Jalandhar, Punjab, for allegedly conspiring to assassinate a Hindu priest. The Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), led by Nijjar, was implicated in the plot.
Nijjar had been evading authorities while residing in Canada. His involvement in a case related to the planning and execution of terrorist acts against India led to the NIA filing a chargesheet against him.