A Canadian Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who has been accused by India of running a terror camp in British Columbia has been elected unopposed to head the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, which has one of the largest memberships in Canada.
Nijjar’s name was in the list of wanted persons that was handed over to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder during his trip to India in February 2018. He was also briefly taken into custody by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in April 2018 before being released without any charges being filed.
Nijjar’s appointment reflects that Khalistani extremists are taking charge of gurudwaras in Canada and running the campaign for a separate Sikh country Khalistan. This comes a month after Canada listed Khalistani extremism among the terror threats facing the country.
A 2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada has said that the country is facing threat from growing Khalistani extremism in the country. In the reference to Khalistani extremism, the report stated: “Some individuals in Canada continue to support Sikh (Khalistani) extremist ideologies and movements.” It mentioned that violent activities in support of Khalistan had “fallen since their height during the 1982-1993 period when individuals and groups conducted numerous terrorist attacks”.