Protests as men accused of Sikh activist’s murder appear in court

Three Indian nationals accused of murdering Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar have appeared by video in a British Columbia court, with scores of Sikh community members gathering inside and outside the hearing.

Protesters outside provincial court in Surrey, B.C., carried placards honouring Nijjar, a campaigner for Sikh independence, and waved the movement’s blue and yellow flags.

The three suspects — Karan Brar, Karanpreet Singh and Kamalpreet Singh — were seen wearing orange jumpsuits and briefly responded to questions.

Brar and Karanpreet Singh agreed through their lawyers to make a next appearance at the Surrey court on May 21, while the court has yet to decide on a new date for Kamalpreet Singh as he seeks legal representation.

WATCH | Large turnout from local Sikh community for accused killers’ court appearance: 

Crowds gather at B.C. courthouse where Sikh activists’ accused killers set to appear

CBC’s Karin Larsen reports from provincial court in Surrey, B.C., where the three Indian nationals accused of killing Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June 2023 were due to appear. Scores of people from the local Sikh community gathered outside the courthouse.

Each of the three men, who were arrested in Edmonton on Friday, face charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in last June’s shooting death of Nijjar, which sent Canada’s relations with India into disarray.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there was credible intelligence that India’s government was involved in the killing, a claim that India denies.

Some protesters outside court on Friday carried signs bearing the faces of the three suspects along with the slogan “Indian agents arrested.”

See also  N.S. doctor predicted decades ago his daughter's murder would be solved. Now it has been

Police said on Friday that investigations into whether India’s government was involved are continuing.

A group of Sikh men speak informally to each other for a posed photograph.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, B.C., in July 2019. Nijjar was shot dead outside the temple in June 2023. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Nijjar, who was the president of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, was shot dead in his pickup truck while leaving the temple’s parking lot last June.

He was a key organizer of unofficial referendums for an independent Sikh state in India and was regarded by India’s government as a terrorist.

Mug shots of three South Asian men.
From left, Karan Brar, Kamalpreeet Singh and Karanpreet Singh have been charged with Nijjar’s murder. (Submitted by IHIT)

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button