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Modi, Trudeau hold talks over killing of Nijjar

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Modi on Friday (14) held a brief conversation with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau amid strain in bilateral ties over the case relating to the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Modi also held a separate conversation with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the summit of G7 advanced economies in Italy’s Apulia region.

Both Modi and Trudeau were seen warmly greeting each other during their encounter. It is not immediately known what was discussed between them. The ties between the two countries had come under severe strain following Trudeau’s allegations in September last year of a ‘potential’ involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Nijjar in British Columbia. New Delhi rejected Trudeau’s charges as ‘absurd’ and ‘motivated.’

India has consistently maintained that the primary issue between the two countries is Canada’s tolerance of pro-Khalistan elements operating from Canadian soil with impunity.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra stated on Wednesday that India’s main concern with Canada remains the political space Ottawa provides to anti-India elements that advocate extremism and violence. India has repeatedly expressed its “deep concerns” to Canada, expecting Ottawa to take strong action against these elements, he added.

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Nijjar, who was declared a terrorist by India, was shot dead outside a gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18 last year. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are investigating the murder.

Following Trudeau’s allegations last year, India requested that Ottawa reduce its diplomatic presence in the country to ensure parity. In response, Canada withdrew 41 diplomats and their family members from India.

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