India’s National Investigation Agency faces international criticism for putting out a hit list of 20 Sikhs in the Diaspora on Indian television
By Sikh Federation (UK)
On the evening of Sunday, 18 June, 45-year old Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the President of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada was assassinated by two unidentified gunmen as he was leaving the Gurdwara.
Two weeks earlier the Canadian Prime Minister’s National Security Adviser, Jody Thomas stated India was among the top sources of foreign interference in Canada. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CISIS) is reported as having reached out to Hardeep Singh Nijjar and others to inform them they had intelligence that they could be targeted days before he was shot dead.
Although the two gunmen who assassinated Hardeep Singh Nijjar have not been tracked down, let alone those who ordered his killing on Canadian soil most have concluded the killing in the work of the Indian authorities. Indian intelligence and the Indian Foreign Minister have more or less taken responsibility and admitted they were behind the assassination.
A new controversy has now started with India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) putting out a “hit list” of 20 Sikhs in the Diaspora on Indian TV. This includes Sikhs living in the UK, USA and Canada. There are six Sikhs from the UK and some of them have reported the threats, harassment, intimidation and now death threats to the police and contacted their own MPs. The MPs include Pat McFadden, John Spellar and Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi.
It is understood Counter Terrorism officers were already looking into the activities of the NIA in relation to their activities on social media by publicly targeting Sikh protesters in the UK. These activities are deemed “hostile activities” by a foreign government and in their own words amount to criminal activity and “state repression”.
The publishing of a “hit list” of 20 Sikhs in the Diaspora on Indian television poses a massive challenge for the US, UK and Canadian administrations and law enforcement agencies.
Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said, “This represents a public challenge to the US, UK and Canadian governments as it is openly promoting Indian “state terrorism” on foreign soil on the back of the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada.
“Counter terrorism police in the UK were already looking into the suspicious death of 35-year old Avtar Singh Khanda in the UK on 15 June, who was publicly vilified by the NIA before and after his death.
“MPs have been asked to take up the matter of the “hit list” with senior police and Home Office and Foreign Office Ministers so a robust response can be given to the Indian authorities as the activities and actions of the NIA are unacceptable.
“UK, Canadian and US politicians know the Indian authorities always overreact to the smallest of incidents. They need to understand they cannot put out a “hit list” of Sikhs in the Diaspora on Indian TV without serious consequences.”
The Indian TV coverage of the NIA hit list of 20 Sikhs can be viewed at the following tweet.