Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to reporters in the lobby of the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada September 18, 2023. (Credit: REUTERS/Blair Gable)
(CNN) -- There are "credible allegations" linking the Indian government to the murder of a Canadian citizen and prominent Sikh leader, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.
"For the past several weeks, Canadian security agencies have been actively seeking credible allegations of a possible link between agents of the Government of India and the murder of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar," Trudeau said. He then added that his government would take all necessary measures "to hold the perpetrators of this murder accountable."
Nijjar was a prominent Sikh leader in the province of British Columbia. According to local police, he was shot dead in June by two masked men in his truck outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia.
His death shocked and outraged Canada's large Sikh community, which now numbers hundreds of thousands.
India labeled Niijar a terrorist threat several years ago, labeling it part of a separatist movement from Sikhism.
"Canada has expressed its deep concern to the heads of intelligence and security of the Government of India. Last week, at the G20, I put them personally and directly to Prime Minister Modi in no uncertain terms. Any involvement of a foreign government in the murder of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty," Trudeau said during his speech in Parliament, saying it was an "extremely serious matter."
Police Canada has not arrested anyone in connection with Niijar's murder, but in an August update, authorities issued a statement saying they were now investigating three possible suspects and released the description of a possible getaway vehicle, asking for the public's help.
CNN reached out to India's High Commissioner in Ottawa for comment but has not heard back.
Canada expels diplomat from India
Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly confirmed Monday that her government expelled a senior Indian diplomat from Canada as a "consequence" of credible allegations about Nijjar's murder.
"Today we acted by expelling a key diplomat, but we will get to the bottom of it," Joly said, at a briefing to reporters in Ottawa on Monday.
Joly confirmed that the expelled diplomat was the head of India's intelligence agency in Canada.
He also revealed that Trudeau raised this issue with both US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Canadian ministers called on their Indian counterparts to cooperate with the investigation.