Bail hearing set for accused killer of Sikh activist Nijjar linked to Brampton

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Published May 16, 2024 at 9:57 am

Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot and killed in Surrey, B.C. on June 18, 2023.

The accused killers of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, including an Indian national who police say split his time between B.C. and Brampton, will be in court next week.

The BC Prosecution Service says 22-year-old Amandeep Singh appeared via video link for his first appearance in a Surrey, B.C., court on Wednesday following charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Nijjar, a leader in the Sikh separatist movement gunned down in the parking lot of a Surrey temple.

Nijjar was an organizer of the controversial Khalistan movement, including a referendum vote in Brampton that saw thousands of Canadian followers of the Sikh faith call for the state of Punjab to break away from India and become a Sikh state of Khalistan.

Three Indian nationals were arrested in B.C. earlier this month and charged in the killing of Nijjar which police described as a sophisticated, targeted attack. Singh was already in custody of Peel Regional Police for unrelated firearms charges.

He made a brief appearance via video link in a Surrey court on Wednesday, and the matter has been put forward to next week when Singh and the other accused are scheduled for a hearing.

Members of the alleged hit squad are all Indian nationals who entered Canada on student visas but investigators have not ruled out they were working at the direction of Indian intelligence. They also reportedly have ties to a gang run by jailed Punjabi gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, accused of killing Brampton rapper and politician Sidhu Moose Wala in May 2022 and linked to extortion cases targeting the South Asian community across Canada.

The Indian government has reportedly ramped up arrests of Khalistan supporters in that country in retaliation of the arrests, and the killing of Nijjar led to a diplomatic spat between India and Canada following claims by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of “credible allegations” Indian government officials may have been involved.

India has denied being involved in the case, and the allegation led India to temporarily halt all visa services for Canadian citizens.

– With files from The Canadian Press

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