Canada-based pro-Khalistan leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was declared a 'wanted terrorist' by the Indian government, was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen at the parking lot of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in the Punjabi-dominated Surrey city of British Columbia province. He was the president of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara.
Nijjar, a resident of a village in Jalandhar, was associated with the separatist organisation, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), which is banned in India. He had played a key role in organising the Khalistan referendum in Brampton city.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) last year filed a charge sheet against four persons, including Nijjar, in connection with a conspiracy to kill Hindu priest Kamaldeep Sharma in Jalandhar on January 31, 2021. The three others charge-sheeted in the case are Kamaljeet Sharma and Ram Singh, who allegedly attacked the priest on the directions of Nijjar and his associate Arshdeep Singh alias Prabh. According to the NIA, the conspiracy was hatched by accused Arshdeep and Nijjar, both based in Canada, to disturb peace and disrupt the communal harmony in Punjab by killing a Hindu priest.
India had asked the Canadian authorities to take action against Nijjar for his alleged involvement in terrorist acts in Punjab. Last year the Punjab Police had sought the extradition of Nijjar as he was wanted in cases related to acts of reviving terrorism in the state. The police was demanding his extradition in pursuance of a lookout circular (LOC) issued on January 23, 2015, and a red corner notice issued on March 14, 2016.
Nijjar was designated as an 'individual terrorist' by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in July 2020. The NIA said Nijjar had been proactively involved in recruiting, training, financing and operationalising pro-Khalistan terrorist modules for spreading terror in India. He was involved in giving inflammatory and hateful speeches through social media platforms. The NIA had attached Nijjar's property in his village in Punjab in another case. A cash reward of Rs 10 lakh was declared against the Canada-based chief of pro-Khalistani outfit Khalistan Tiger Force, Nijjar.
Nijjar had been accused of killing Ripudaman Singh Malik, the man who was acquitted in the 1985 Air India terrorist bombing case, in Surrey last year.