Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot dead in Canada in June.

New Delhi:

Encouraged by their growing influence in Canada, pro-Khalistan extremists (PKEs) have started openly intimidating minority Hindus there, people with direct knowledge of the matter have said. Also, there have been many cases of damage to temples.

"The open threats by Khalistanis to the physical security of Indian missions and diplomats in Canada is a very serious phenomenon and challenges Canada's obligation under the Vienna Convention," said a senior government official who closely monitors the situation, requesting anonymity.

"It appears that there are different parameters to measure human rights.

"Canada's voices are very strong even on small issues in Punjab, while there is complete silence on intimidation, violence, drug trafficking and extortion by the PKE sitting in Canada, which is affecting both countries," the official said.

All these issues were discussed at a high-level meeting of intelligence agencies today, people familiar with the matter said.

Among the issues discussed was the soft lobbying of Khalistanis, who ensured that liberal and pro-India Sikhs were driven out of all major Gurdwaras in Canada by the PKE's muscle and money power.

Documents maintained by intelligence agencies show that Punjab today is suffering huge losses due to extortion rackets being run from Canada.

Canada-based gangsters bring drugs from Pakistan through drones and sell them across Punjab. A part of this money goes to Khalistani extremists in Canada.

"In the last few years, the morale of Khalistani extremists has increased further. At the same time, he has started working fearlessly from Canada. In the last decade, more than half of the terror cases reported from Punjab have links with Canada-based Khalistani extremists," he said.

"In Canada too, many Khalistanis are part of the drug trade. Inter-gang rivalry between gangsters from Punjab is now common in Canada. Pro-India Sikh leader Ripudaman Singh Malik was killed in Surrey in 2022. At the same time, many people say about this murder that it was planned by Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

"However, the Canadian agencies showed no urgency in finding the real people behind it and uncovering the real conspiracy. Two local criminals, who were not of Indian origin, were charged only in this case."

According to the report, the targeted killings of Sikhs, Hindus and Christians in Punjab after 2016 were the handiwork of Nijjar and his associates, but Canadian agencies never initiated any investigation against Nijjar and several others, including his friends Bhagat Singh Brar, Parry Dulai, Arsh Dalla, Lakabir and Landa.

Sources said that for Canada, they continue to be political activists despite the rising number of murders in Punjab.

"Khalistani extremists have been operating independently from Canadian soil for almost 50 years under the guise of notions like 'freedom of expression', 'political advocacy' etc. The Kanishka bombing by Khalistani extremists in 1985 was one of the biggest terror attacks. This was the world before 9/11.

The official said that due to the callous attitude of the Canadian agencies, Talwinder Singh Parmar and his group of Khalistani extremists became free. "Talwinder Singh Parmar is now the hero of Khalistanis in Canada and Sikhs for Justice has named its campaign centre after him," the official said.