Nijjar killing: US envoy claims Canada's allegation against India based on shared intelligence of Five Eyes

Canada PM Justin Trudeau and US ambassador to Canada David Cohen. Photo: Reuters, IANS

Ottawa: Amid the diplomatic spat between India and Canada over the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar,  US Ambassador to Canada David Cohen has revealed the role of an intelligence agency behind Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegation against India. He claimed that Trudeau's allegation against India was based on “shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners”

Five Eyes is an intelligence alliance of five countries-Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

"There was shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners that helped lead Canada to making the statements that the Prime Minister Trudeau made," Cohen said in an exclusive interview with CTV.

The Canadian government has collected "human and signal intelligence" involving Indian officials, including Indian diplomats present in Canada linking them to the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the media reported.

"Based on a month-long investigation into Nijjar's death, the Canadian government had amassed both human and signals intelligence which includes communications involving Indian officials themselves, including Indian diplomats present in Canada," public broadcaster Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported quoting government sources.

Some of the intelligence was provided by an unnamed ally in the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, the CBC reported. 

India and Canada are enmeshed in a diplomatic row over Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegation against the Indian intelligence and the state in the killing of Canadian citizen and Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was killed in June in British Columbia. Nijjar was declared a designated terrorist by India in 2020.

India had rejected claims by the Canada government terming them as "absurd and motivated".

Both countries announced tit-for-tat expulsions of senior diplomats and issued travel advisories.

Nijjar was shot dead outside a Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia on June 18.  

(With IANS inputs)

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