Wanted Khalistan Tiger Force chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar gunned down in Canadian city Surrey

Two unidentified assailants fired at him from close range at the parking lot of a gurdwara; another wanted accused, Paramjit Singh Panjwar, was recently killed in Lahore in similar fashion  

Updated - June 19, 2023 09:07 pm IST

Published - June 19, 2023 11:40 am IST - New Delhi

Image for representation purpose only.

Image for representation purpose only. | Photo Credit: PTI


Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a “designated” terrorist also associated with the banned group “Sikhs For Justice (SFJ)”, was gunned down by unidentified assailants in the Surrey city of Canada on Sunday. He was wanted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in four cases.

The two assailants struck around 8.30 p.m. (local time) when Nijjar was inside a car at the parking lot of a gurdwara. They fled the scene after firing at him from close range. His killing triggered an instant protest by the members of his community.

Nijjar was declared a terrorist under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in July 2020 through a Ministry of Home Affairs notification, which stated that he had been posting photos and videos on social media platforms to spread “insurrectionary imputations and hateful speeches”. He was also accused of attempting to create disharmony among different communities in India.

The Punjab Police had also registered multiple cases against the KTF chief who hailed from Bharsinghpura village in Jalandhar. He moved to Canada in 1997 and lived there with his wife and two sons. He worked as a plumber and was elected as the Surrey gurdwara managing committee head. A Red Notice was issued against him in 2016.

In 2022, the NIA declared a reward of ₹10 lakh for information leading to Nijjar’s arrest in cases registered in 2018, 2019 and 2021. The agency arrested some of his associates and also filed chargesheets naming him. In one case, he was accused of being part of a conspiracy by the SFJ and the other related organisations to launch a concerted campaign in the name of “Punjab Referendum 2020 for Khalistan”.

The agency found that he had been raising funds to procure arms and ammunition, and train the youth for carrying out terrorist activities in India. “He has certain associates in India who have conducted reconnaissance of gatherings of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh [RSS] at certain places, including Punjab, with an intention to target them...,” it alleged in another case. He was also accused of masterminding attacks on Hindu priests in Phillaur.

Nijjar’s killing is similar to that of another wanted accused, Paramjit Singh Panjwar, in Pakistan’s Lahore in May. Panjwar headed a faction of the Khalistan Commando Force (KCF). Accompanied by two armed guards, he was taking a morning walk in a park inside Sunflower Housing Society in Lahore’s Johar Town when one of the assailants shot him in the head and drove off on a motorcycle along with his accomplice.

Panjwar was wanted by the NIA, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Punjab Police, in 17 cases involving provisions of the UAPA, Explosive Substances Act and the Arms Act.

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