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Four men accused of killing Sikh activist appear in British Columbia court

Judge imposes a no-contact order on the accused, three of whom were there in person and one via video from an Ontario jail.

Written by  Annesha Barua -- May 22nd 2024 09:06 AM -- Updated: May 22nd 2024 09:17 AM
Four men accused of killing Sikh activist appear in British Columbia court

Four men accused of killing Sikh activist appear in British Columbia court

PTC News Desk: In their first combined court appearance on Tuesday morning, a judge in British Columbia ordered four Indian nationals who are charged with killing Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar to have no contact with several members of the community.

In Surrey, British Columbia, provincial court saw the first in-person appearances of three of the four suspects: Karan Brar, Kamalpreet Singh, and Karanpreet Singh. The fourth suspect made his or her appearance by video link.

Amandeep Singh was arrested on May 10 for the assassination of Nijjar, but he is still being held in detention in Ontario, where he was charged with other firearms offenses.

The three in person appeared in the courtroom dressed in scarlet prison jumpsuits.

Judge Mark Jetté placed a no-contact order on three Indian nationals who were detained for the murder of a Sikh activist. The hearing was adjourned until the suspects' next appearance on June 25. Judge Jetté spoke with the guys through an interpreter.

Regarding the homicide that rocked Canada's relations with India last year, the four Indian nationals are each charged with murder and conspiracy.

Although India has denied any participation in the case, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated that reliable intelligence connected Nijjar's killing to Indian government involvement.

Fourth man detained, accused of killing a Sikh leader in British Columbia

A man charged with killing a Sikh activist showed up in court just two days before to the murder.

In June 2023, Nijjar, the president of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey and a major coordinator of the international voting process for an independent Sikh state in India, was shot and killed in the gurdwara's parking lot.

Sheriffs searched attendees at the most recent accused hearing before allowing them to enter the courtroom. They then placed attendees' phones in plastic zipper bags and stored them outside the courtroom in plastic bins. 

The judge informed the audience that it was forbidden to record audio or take pictures.

Meanwhile, there was a demonstration outside by those who supported Nijjar and the Sikh separatist cause.

Protesters called the four accused "foot soldiers" and demanded charges against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as Indian intelligence and diplomatic authorities they claimed ordered the massacre. They read a statement on behalf of the pro-independence group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ).

"The assassination of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil carried out at the behest of consular officials is a challenge to Canadian sovereignty," the statement read.

On June 18, SFJ said it will stage a fake trial of Modi in front of the Indian consulate in Vancouver to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Nijjar's death.

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- With inputs from agencies

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