Home News Canadian arrests highlight alleged gang role in Indian intelligence operations

Canadian arrests highlight alleged gang role in Indian intelligence operations


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused the Indian government of orchestrating murders on Canadian soil, sending diplomatic relations between the two countries to their lowest ever. his claim.

Police have provided no clues or evidence that India was behind the killing of Sikh nationalist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June at a temple he led in Surrey, B.C. was shot.what they said is three indian men Killed India and is currently investigating India’s role.

Before the arrests, Indian officials insisted Canada was trying to draw New Delhi into what it said was essentially a rivalry between gangs whose members have long been wanted for crimes in India.

After the arrest, Report by Canadian public broadcaster CBCAccording to anonymous sources, the suspects belong to an Indian criminal gang.

But analysts and former officials said the possible role of criminal gangs in the killings does not necessarily mean the Indian government was not involved in the crime.

India’s external spy agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), has long been suspected of using criminal networks to operate in neighboring South Asia while maintaining denials.

Canada’s accusations, if proven, are orchestrated by India Nijar killings Analysts said similar charges were brought in the United States shortly after in another case, which may indicate that RAW is now extending its strategy of working with criminals to Western countries.

U.S. officials present strong evidence accusing Indian government agents of involvement a failed assassination attempt Dual citizen of the United States and Canada. Canadian and allied officials insist Canada has evidence to support Trudeau’s claim that Indian agents killed Nijar.

But nine months after Mr Trudeau made the explosive accusations, Canada has failed to reveal any evidence of Indian involvement, making Mr Nijar’s killing an area of ​​accusations and counter-accusations in a highly charged political environment in both countries. analysts said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been flexing his muscles as a nationalist strongman, his ongoing campaign for a third term As protector of India, he will spare no effort to combat security threats.

In the speech, he boasted about how his government would destroy its enemies by “reaching deep into their homes.” While he mentioned the country’s arch-rival Pakistan, right-wing accounts on social media celebrated Nijjar’s killing in Canada as a similar move by Modi’s long arm.

Mr. Trudeau, on the other hand, has faced criticism for being soft on China. election interference activities On Canadian soil, his early completion of Nijar’s killing was seen as compensation for this.

Canadian police announced on Friday that they had arrested three Indian men in Edmonton, Alberta, and charged them with first-degree murder and conspiracy to murder Mr. Nijar. Police said the suspect had lived in Canada for three to five years but was not a permanent resident.

The gang reported by CBC The killers are led by 31-year-old Lawrence Bishnoi, who has been charged with multiple murders, extortion and drug trafficking cases.He orchestrated much of it in a prison in India where he was held Held since 2014. His members are believed to be behind the murder of a popular Punjabi rapper and threats to attack Bollywood celebrities.

Indian security officials regularly arrest criminals linked to Bishnoi, often alleging that the gang’s network extends into Canada and overlaps with those promoting the Khalistani cause on Canadian soil. Khalistan is a once violent separatist movement that aims to seize power. The Indian state of Punjab as an independent state.

A large Sikh diaspora lives in Canada, many of whom immigrated there in the 1980s following the Indian government’s violent and often indiscriminate crackdown on the Khalistani independence movement. While the cause has largely died down in India, it still has supporters among certain segments of the diaspora. The Indian government has accused Canada and several other Western countries of not doing enough to combat separatists.

In neighboring parts of India, RAW is often willing to venture into dark spaces to recruit hit men, analysts and former security officials say. Top officials in Modi’s government, including legendary former spy chief Ajit Doval who is now Modi’s longtime national security adviser, have been accused in the past of delving into the underworld in search of hit men willing to pursue domestic targets. and abroad.

Bishnoi has wielded immense power in prison, even positioning himself as a nationalist warrior rather than a criminal mastermind in a television interview from behind bars last year. One former security official said this was a sign that he was trying to align himself with the nationalist spirit for a potential deal.

“I am a nationalist,” Bishnoi said in that interview. “I am against Khalistan. I am against Pakistan.”

Ajai Sahni, a security analyst at the South Asia Terrorism Portal in New Delhi, said spy agencies using criminal gangs for deniability operations “happens all over the world.”

“It is absolutely possible for an agency like RAW to take advantage of gang rivalries rather than expose their own covert operators,” Mr Sani added. “But just because that’s what’s generally expected, doesn’t necessarily mean that we know that’s what happened in Nijar’s killing.”

There’s something sloppy about America’s failed plot, like an agency trying to expand an old playbook into a different, unfamiliar territory.

A U.S. indictment in November listed evidence including a hired hitman who turned out to be an undercover police officer, a self-proclaimed fixer and a Indian intelligence official recently identified by The Washington Post as Vikram Yadav.

The Indian government’s response revealed concerns: India’s top diplomat said the move was not government policy, while the government announced an investigation into the matter and pledged to cooperate with the United States.

The situation in Canada is completely different. The country has not publicly disclosed any evidence to support Mr. Trudeau’s claims, although allied officials said in September that Canadian officials had found “irrefutable evidence” of intercepted communications of Indian diplomats in Canada suggesting they were involved in the plot.

Indian officials have aggressively pushed back on Trudeau’s claims, suggesting that India is either not involved or confident in its denials.

indian government expel Canadian diplomatsAnd it doubled down on its efforts by releasing a list of individuals on Canadian soil who it said were long wanted as part of what it called a criminal and terror nexus.

Last week, Modi government officials said at an event attended by Trudeau that this suggested his accusations were simply an attempt to appease what they said was the Sikh vote bank. They pointed to video of an event where Trudeau was the chief guest and where chants of “Long live Khalistan” were chanted. In his speech, Mr. Trudeau said he would always “protect your rights and freedoms, and we will always defend your communities against hate.”

After the speech, India’s foreign ministry summoned Canada’s second-highest diplomat in New Delhi to lodge a complaint.

“His comments to us demonstrate once again that Canada provides political space for separatism, extremism and those who commit violence,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Randhir Jaiswal told a news conference. “

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