Sikh group vows Indian consulate ‘shutdown’ over link to high-profile B.C. gurdwara murder

The human rights advocacy group Sikhs For Justice says peaceful protests will “shut down” Indian consulate offices in Canada next week, with new intelligence appearing to link the Indian state to a high-profile murder in British Columbia.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, president of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, was gunned down in the Surrey temple’s parking lot after evening prayers on June 18. Nijjar, 45, was a prominent community leader and supporter of Sikh separatism.

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Jatinder Singh Grewal, director of international policy with Sikhs for Justice, agreed. He said the attack against Nijjar, a community advocate and leader, was an attack against Sikhs broadly as well as an attack on Canadian sovereignty.

The Sikh community, he added, simply wishes to exercise its right to freedom of expression.

“It sends fear into our community, but the Sikhs will not succumb to fear,” Grewal said.

“They will take precautions, however. We will continue to promote the belief and the right to self-determination of the Sikh people and the establishment of Khalistan.”

Sikhs For Justice is calling on the Canadian government to label India a state sponsor of terror.

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“It is irrefutable that this act was done in front of a Sikh temple and this execution was done to the head of a Sikh temple. What message does it send?” Grewal asked.

To Harkireet Kaur, Nijjar was “like a father” at the gurdwara. She said he helped guide her when she strayed in high school, and shared stories of his lifelong activism that inspired her.

“Now is not the time to celebrate or get overly excited,” the North American Sikh Association member told Global News. “Now is the time to ensure that we will continue to raise our voice, build pressure and leave no room for any sort of backtracking.”

The RCMP, meanwhile, continue to investigate Nijjar’s killing. No arrests have been reported, but investigators are searching for three suspects and have identified a suspect vehicle believed to be the getaway car.

— with files from Sean Boynton