The Premier of Canada's British Columbia province, David Eby, on Friday said that information related to Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar's killing was 'open source information' available to the public through a simple internet search, while implying that the Justin Trudeau government is withholding information on the matter amid tensions with India.
Addressing a press conference, Eby said that everything he knows about Nijjar's killing was "in the public realm". "The only briefings that I have been able to receive from CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service)... are 'open source briefings' which is information that is avaiable to the public doing an internet search, which I find frustrating," he said.
The British Columbia Premier further said that he was contacted by Canadian PM Trudeau, after which the latter briefed him about the bombshell allegations he was going to make in the Parliament. He was also briefed by the CSIS Director on the matter.
"I expressed my frustration in my meeting with the CSIS director about our inability to get more concrete information about this thing and I have articulated that to the federal government. I understand there may need to be reform around the act that governs CSIS in order for them to be able to share this information," he further said.
Eby further said that the federal government needs to trust the provincial government on the issue and share adequate information on Nijjar's death that can help protect residents. "If that's what's required, let's make it happen, because the only way that we're going to make traction on this is by the federal government trusting the provincial government with information and being able to act on it in our local communities," he added.
Eby's remarks come after Trudeau on Monday made explosive allegations linking the role of "agents" of the Indian government to the killing of the Khalistani terrorist on June 18. India had rejected the allegations by Trudeau calling them “absurd" and "motivated" and expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move to expulsion of an Indian official in Canada.
What's happening between India and Canada?
Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the chief of Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) — a Sikh extremist organisation banned by India — and a “designated terrorist” was gunned down in Canada's Surrey on June 18.
Shortly after India's reply to Trudeau's allegations and expulsion of diplomats from both countries, New Delhi has suspended visa services for Canadian nationals and asked for a reduction of Ottawa's diplomats citing security threats. India has directly described Canada as a 'safe haven' for terrorists and extremists.
However, Trudeau insisted that his aim was not to "provoke or cause problems" with India and requested the Narendra Modi-government to cooperate with the ongoing investigation, even though Canada has yet not provided any public evidence to back its allegations against India.
Trudeau also claimed that Ottawa had shared the “credible” allegations about Nijjar's killing with New Delhi “many weeks ago”. "With India, we did that many weeks ago. We are there to work constructively with India and we hope that they engage with us so that we can get to the bottom of this very serious matter," he said.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that America is “deeply concerned” about the allegations raised by Trudeau regarding India’s involvement in the killing of the Khalistani terrorist, adding that it is critical that the investigation into the matter proceeds.
“We are deeply concerned about the allegations that Canadian PM Trudeau has raised. We have been consulting very closely with our Canadian colleagues, and coordinating with them on this issue. From our perspective, it is critical that the Canadian investigation proceeds,” Blinken said at a press conference.
His remarks came after the US on Thursday said that it supports Canada’s efforts to investigate allegations of India's involvement in the killing of Nijjar. It observed that no country can get any “special exemption” for such activities.