The Controversy Surrounding Hardeep Singh Nijjar: A Closer Look

The Controversy Surrounding Hardeep Singh

In recent years, the name Hardeep Singh Nijjar has become a topic of intense debate. It has stirred discussions between the Indian government and the Canadian Sikh community. Nijjar’s story has accusations of terrorism, ties to the Khalistan movement, and a sad ending.
Let’s delve into the details of this complex and contentious issue.

Who Was Hardeep Singh Nijjar?

Hardeep Singh Nijjar came from a town in Jalandhar, India. He had been living in Canada for many years. Tragically, he met his demise in June under shocking circumstances. Shaking the Sikh community in Canada. One of the largest Sikh communities outside India, boasting over 770,000 members.


Hardeep Singh Nijjar was a controversial figure in the Punjabi activist scene. He strongly supported Khalistani independence. Nijjar held prominent positions, serving as the president of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara. Led the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) separatist group. Was associated with the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) activist group.

The Indian government accused Nijjar as a terrorist. Due to his involvement in separatist activities.

Additionally, his alleged role in conspiring to assassinate a Hindu priest.

India’s Declaration: Hardeep as a Terrorist

By 2018, the Indian government had officially declared Hardeep Singh Nijjar as a terrorist. The allegations against him included involvement in targeted killings in India. However, Nijjar vehemently maintained his innocence, asserting that he was being falsely accused. In February 2018, the situation escalated. Amarinder Singh, the Punjab CM, handed over a list of wanted individuals. Including Nijjar, to the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

April 2018 , he was briefly questioned by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Surprisingly, Nijjar got released within 24 hours without any charges filed against him. This was hated by indian govt. Which drew strong criticism from the Indian government. July 2020, India claimed Hardeep Singh Nijjar as a ‘terrorist.’ Under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

In September 2020, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) seized all his assets. The NIA also accused him of planning the murder of a Hindu priest in Punjab. The year 2022 witnessed the NIA offering a reward of $16,200 for any information leading to Nijjar.


Timeline of the Khalistan Movement:

  • 1940: The idea of Khalistan, a separate Sikh homeland, is first mentioned in a pamphlet titled “Khalistan” following the end of British rule in India.
  • 1970s-1980s: The Khalistan movement gains momentum in the Indian state of Punjab, which has a Sikh-majority population, with support from the Sikh diaspora.
  • Late 1980s: The movement reaches its peak, with increased demands for Khalistan.
  • 1971: Sikh separatist leader Jagjit Singh Chohan claims that Pakistan’s Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto offered support to the Khalistan cause after the Indo-Pakistani War, but the support never materializes.
  • 1990s: The insurgency weakens, and the Khalistan movement fails to achieve its goal due to factors such as police crackdowns, internal conflicts among separatists, and decreasing support from Sikhs.
  • Ongoing: Some support for Khalistan still exists within India and among Sikhs in other countries, marked by yearly protests remembering those killed during Operation Blue Star.
  • Early 2018: Punjab, India, arrests militant groups associated with the Khalistan movement.
  • 2022: Simranjit Singh Mann, openly supporting Khalistan, gets elected to the Indian parliament. His party, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), becomes the only pro-Khalistan party in the Indian parliament.
  • 2023: Death of Nijjar

After Nijjar’s Death: Heightened Tensions

After Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s tragic death, tensions rose between Canada, and Indian government. Canadian security agencies are working hard to figure this out. They are looking into whether the Indian government had anything to do with Nijjar’s death.

During the G20 summit in New Delhi. Justin Trudeau brought up the issue with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Trudeau called for cooperation from the Indian government to uncover the truth. And said that any foreign involvement in the killing of our citizens would be unacceptable.

Canada’s Response

In response to these tensions, Canadian authorities took significant steps. Trudeau accused India of involvement in Nijjar’s killing. He expelled an Indian diplomat believed to be the head of the Indian intelligence agency in Canada.

These actions have strained trade talks between the two nations. Leading to the
postponement of a scheduled trade mission to India.


India reacted sharply to Trudeau’s charges. A seething New Delhi described the charges as absurd. And said it “rejects any attempt to connect the government of India to such developments, India’s foreign ministry on Tuesday responded in kind, saying it had expelled a senior Canadian diplomat based in India.

The concerned diplomat has been asked to leave India within the next five days,” it said in a statement.


Canada and India are like friends who exchange things they make with each other. They’ve been doing this for a long time, even when things were not going very well for the economy. Since the year 2004, even when there was a time when the economy wasn’t doing so well (late-2000s recession). Trading between Canada and India grew by 70%.

In 2009, Canada sold things to India that were worth $2.1 billion. At the same time, Canada bought things from India that added up to $2.0 billion. This meant that Canada had a $100 million trade


Canadian Imports from India (Top 3):
1. Boilers, mechanical appliances, etc.
2. Mineral fuels, oils
3. Pearls, precious stones or metals

Canadian Exports to India (Top 3):
1. Edible vegetables, roots and tubers
2. Pearls, precious stones or metals
3. Fertilizers


In conclusion, the case of Hardeep Singh Nijjar and the allegations surrounding his life and death have sparked considerable controversy and tension between Canada and India. The true extent of his involvement in separatist activities and his tragic killing remain subjects of debate and investigation. The repercussions of this incident continue to influence diplomatic relations and trade between these two nations, highlighting the complex dynamics at play in the international arena.

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