Indian envoy asks Canada to produce evidence in Nijjar's killing, says probe already 'tainted'
PTC News Desk: India's High Commissioner to Canada Sanjay Kumar Verma reiterated New Delhi's position on the diplomatic standoff with Canada and urged Ottawa to release evidence supporting its allegation regarding the killing of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
The remarks from the Indian envoy came during an interview with the Canadian platform, The Globe and Mail on Friday.
This comes after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged the involvement of "agents of the Indian government" in the killing of Nijjar.
In retaliation for Canada's decision, India rejected the allegations as "absurd and motivated" and expelled a Canadian diplomat.
Verma emphasized that neither Canada nor its allies have provided India with concrete evidence of India's alleged involvement in Nijjar's killing.
He also claimed that Prime Minister Trudeau's public statements had "damaged" the ongoing Canadian police investigation into the killing.
"There is no specific or relevant information provided in this case for us to assist them in the investigation," Verma said, adding, "Where is the evidence? Where is the conclusion of the investigation? I would go a step further and say now the investigation has already been tainted. A direction has come from someone at a high level to say India or Indian agents are behind it."
India has resumed visa services in Canada for four categories after suspending them in September until "further notice" due to strained relations.
Canada withdrew 41 diplomats from India last month after New Delhi expressed concerns about diplomatic parity.
Ottawa also ceased visa and consular services at its consulates in Chandigarh, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.
While denying India's involvement in the killing outright, Verma stated that any conversations between diplomats are "protected and cannot be used as evidence in court or publicly released."
"You are talking about illegal wiretaps and talking about evidence. Conversations between two diplomats are secure by all international law. Show me how you captured these conversations. Show me that someone did not mimic the voice," he stated.
When asked if Ottawa had asked India to extradite anyone involved in the Nijjar killing, Verma said, "Those conversations are between the two governments."
The Indian envoy also stated that over the last five or six years, New Delhi has made 26 requests to Ottawa to extradite people from Canada to India. "We are still waiting for action," he added.
When asked what New Delhi believed was required to repair diplomatic relations, the Indian envoy stated that both sides must ensure that any disputes are resolved "through professional communication and professional dialogue."