Indians accused of killing Hardeep Singh Nijjar appear before Canadian court

Karan Brar, Kamalpreet Singh and Karanpreet Singh, three of four individuals charged with murdering Hardeep Singh Nijjar in 2023, appear in Surrey Provincial Court in Surrey, Canada, on May 21, 2024, in a courtroom sketch.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Three Indian nationals accused of killing Khalistan separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar last year appeared in person for the first time in a Canadian court on May 21, with the judge ordering them to have no contact with several people in the community.

Karan Brar (22), Kamalpreet Singh (22), and Karanpreet Singh (28) appeared in person at the British Columbia Provincial Court in Surrey and Amandeep Singh (22) appeared via video link, the Vancouver Sun reported.

The British Columbia judge has ordered all four of them to have no contact with several people in the community in their latest court appearance, the report added.

Those appearing in person wore red prison sweatsuits as they entered the courtroom, while Amandeep remains in custody in Ontario where he was facing unrelated weapons before being arrested on May 10 for Nijjar’s killing.

Judge Mark Jette spoke to the men through an interpreter as he placed them under the no-contact order, before adjourning until the suspects’ next appearance on June 25.

Richard Fowler, the lawyer representing Karan Brar, told the Vancouver Sun,” It’s completely understandable given the context why there is an enormous amount of community interest in this case. That level of community interest makes me…to ensure that those charged with these offences have a fair trial.”

“And I have no doubt the members of East Indian community, broader Canadian community and the international community are equally interested in ensuring that there was a fair trial, that justice is done.”

Attendees at the latest hearing for the men were searched before entering the courthouse, while a protest by supporters of Nijjar and the Sikh separatist movement he championed was taking place outside.

Sheriffs at the hearing placed peoples’ phones in plastic zipper bags and kept them outside the courtroom in plastic bins, with the judge warning observers that recording audio and taking pictures was prohibited, the report added.

Hundreds of local Sikhs carrying Khalistan flags and posters showed up at the courthouse.

Nijjar, 45, was killed outside Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia on June 18, 2023.

The ties between India and Canada came under severe strain following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations in September last year of the “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Nijjar.

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