Murdered Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a designated terrorist in India, was allegedly involved in crime since the 1980s and had connections with local goons from a young age, a detailed dossier prepared by Indian authorities, and accessed by NDTV, revealed. It further says Nijjar, who fled to Canada on a forged passport in 1996 and maintained a low profile as a truck driver there, travelled to Pakistan for arms and explosives training. He also allegedly ordered several killings and attacks in Punjab while taking refuge on Canadian soil.
A resident of the Bhar Singh Pura village in Punjab’s Jalandhar, Hardeep Singh Nijjar was initiated to the gangster life by Gurnek Singh alias Neka, the dossier said. In the 1980s and 90s, he was associated with Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) militants and later since 2012, he was closely associated with Jagtar Singh Tara, Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) Chief, it added. After his name cropped up in several terrorism cases, Nijjar escaped to Canada in 1996.
Later, he allegedly came in touch with Pakistan based KTF Chief, Jagtar Singh Tara. He also visited Pakistan in the garb of a Baisakhi jatha member in April 2012 and underwent an arms and explosive training there for a fortnight, the dossier said.
After returning to Canada, he allegedly started arranging funds for terror activities through his associates engaged in drugs and arms smuggling in Canada.
Nijjar planned with Jagtar Singh Tara to execute a terror attack in Punjab and raised a gang in Canada which included Mandeep Singh Dhaliwal, Sarbjit Singh, Anupveer Singh, and Darshan Singh alias Fauji, the dossier claims, adidng that they received arms training in British Columbia, Canada in December 2015.
In 2014, Nijjar allegedly planned to execute a terror attack on Dera Sacha Sauda Headquarters in Haryana’s Sirsa, but he couldn’t reach India, the dossier said, so he directed his module to target former DGP Mohd Izhar Alam, Punjab based Shiv Sena leader Nishant Sharma, and Baba Mann Singh Pehowa Wale.
Nijjar also worked with Punjab-based gangster Arshdeep Singh Gill alias Arsh Dala from Moga to carry out terror activities in Punjab, the dossier said. He allegedly tasked Arshdeep to carry out the double-murder of Manohar Lal Arora and Jatinderbir Singh Arora, the father-son duo accused of ‘anti-Panthic activities’, in 2020. In the attack, Manohar Lal was shot dead at his residence in Bathinda on November 20, 2020, but his son escaped. Nijjar had sent money from Canada for their murder, the dossier said.
In 2021, Nijjar allegedly asked Arshdeep to murder the priest of Bhar Singh Pura village (Nijjar’s native place). However, the priest survived. Nijjar, in this manner, allegedly built an ecosystem of terror in Punjab from behind the scenes in Canada.
Nijjar was gunned down outside a Gurdwara in a parking area in Canada’s Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today doubled down on his explosive charge that “Indian government agents” were behind Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing, claiming “credible allegations” were shared with India weeks ago.
Trudeau had first linked Nijjar’s killing to India on Monday, prompting a quick and stern denial by India. Canada has shared no specific information regarding its charges, India said, flagging “politically condoned hate crimes and criminal violence” in that country.
The allegation triggered tit-for-tat moves like expelling diplomats that escalated underlying tensions to a major diplomatic crisis between the two countries. India has suspended visa services citing “security threats” to its High Commissions and consulates in Canada.