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India raises tensions with Canada and expels diplomat after accusations of assassination of Sikh leader

The India announced this Tuesday the expulsion of a senior diplomatic official of Canadain response to the accusation by the Canadian authorities that the Asian country was implicated in the murder in its territory of one of its citizensa separatist leader of Indian origin and belonging to the Sikh community.

“The Canadian High Commissioner to India was summoned and informed about the decision of the Government from India to expel a senior Canadian diplomatic official,” the Asian country’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The diplomat must leave India in the coming days, in a move that reflects “the growing concern about the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal affairs,” according to Foreign Affairs.

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The murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar last June in the town of Surrey, in western Canada, has unleashed a diplomatic crisis between both countries.

Nijjar was shot by strangers in the parking lot of a Sikh temple, and had been accused of terrorism by Indian authorities for defending the creation of the independent state of Khalistan for the Sikh minority in the Indian state of Punjab. This separatist movement went to a armed insurgency in the 1980s that left tens of thousands of dead in its wake.

The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeaustated last Monday that, according to Canadian intelligence services, India was involved in the murder of Nijjar. Canada also expelled an Indian diplomat, the person responsible for the intelligence of the Asian nation in the country.

For its part, the Government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi rejected these accusations, which it described as absurd and motivated. According to the Indian Foreign Ministry, Trudeau’s statements seek to “divert attention from terrorists and extremists Khalistani.”

New Delhi has repeatedly accused Canada of allow the presence of people who threaten its “territorial integrity”while Trudeau defended the right to freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration after a tense meeting with Modi during the summit of the G20 last September 9 and 10.

After the meeting of both leaders, Canada This week he postponed his trade mission to India after the paralysis of negotiations for a free trade agreement. Canada has 1.8 million people of Indian origin, of which about 770,000 are Sikhs.

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