Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in Parliament Monday that there is “credible” intelligence linking agents of the Indian government to the shooting death of a Sikh temple leader in Surrey, B.C. Hardeep Singh Nijjar was the president of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara and a leader in the Sikh independence movement in Canada.
July 22, 2022: Indian authorities announce a cash reward for information leading to Nijjar’s arrest, accusing him of involvement in an alleged attack on a Hindu priest in India.
June 18, 2023: Nijjar is shot dead in a vehicle in the parking lot of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, sparking a large protest outside the temple.
June 19: A close associate of Nijjar’s says the temple leader had been warned by Canadian intelligence officials about possibly being targeted before the shooting.
June 21: Police say they are searching for two suspects who may have escaped the scene on foot through a nearby park, where they met a getaway vehicle.
June 24: Protesters gather outside Vancouver’s Indian consulate, shouting slogans advocating for an independent Sikh state in India.
June 25: Nijjar’s funeral is held at the gurdwara, reportedly attended by thousands.
July 4: Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly denounces posters blaming Indian diplomats for Nijjar’s death as “unacceptable.”
Aug. 16: Homicide investigators say they are seeking a third suspect in the case who may have been the driver of a getaway car.
Sept. 3: The Surrey School District cancels the rental of a local school for the Sikh referendum and organizers threaten legal action.
Sept. 10: A referendum vote is held at the Surrey gurdwara where Nijjar was killed, and organizers say the large turnout led to the scheduling of a second vote on Oct. 29 for those who could not vote.
Sept. 18: Trudeau addresses the House of Commons saying the allegations of Indian involvement in Nijjar’s killing is “credible,” and Joly says Canada is ordering one diplomat to leave.
Sept. 19: The Indian government expels a senior Canadian diplomat, citing growing concerns over “interference” in the country’s internal matters.
Sept. 20: India warns its citizens in a travel advisory to “exercise utmost caution” in Canada due to “anti-India activities,” hate crimes and violence. It directs the message particularly at Indian students.
Sept. 21: India halts all visa services for Canadian citizens, saying it anticipates Ottawa will reduce its diplomatic presence in India. Global Affairs Canada says its high commission and all its consulates in India are open.
This report by The Canadian Press was first publishedSept. 21, 2023.
The Canadian Press