Nijjar was shot around 8.30 pm in the parking lot of Guru Nanak Gurdwara Sahib in Surrey. He was the gurdwara president. Witnesses reported that two gunmen fled after firing at him.
Quoting a police officer, the daily Vancouver Sun reported: “Upon attendance, police found an adult male inside a vehicle suffering from apparent gunshot wounds and provided medical assistance until Emergency Health Services arrived on scene. The man died of his injuries at the scene. The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team had been called in. Police are still working to determine possible suspect descriptions from multiple witnesses who were in the area.”
Nijjar, 46, who hailed from Bhar Singh Pura village in Jalandhar, was actively involved in operationalising, networking, training and financing members of the Khalistan Tiger Force, according to the Union government.
He was also an accused in a case registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Closely associated with the banned Sikhs for Justice, Nijjar had played a leading role in organising the so-called Khalistan referendum in Brampton. He also travelled to Australia for the SFJ’s referendum campaign earlier this year.
Nijjar was one of the most wanted terrorists in India. In July last year, the NIA had announced a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh on information leading to his arrest in connection with an attack on a Hindu priest in Jalandhar in 2021.
During the investigation, it was discovered that Nijjar had made provocative statements, posted objectionable content and shared photographs and videos on social media platforms to “spread insurrectionary imputations” through hate speeches.
“The incriminating evidence… gathered substantiates that he is involved in exhorting seditionary and insurrectionary imputations and also attempting to create disharmony among different communities in India,” an NIA document stated.
His name also figured in the wanted list handed over by the then Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the latter’s visit to India in 2018.
Speaking to a Canadian radio channel after the killing of Khalistan Commando Force chief Paramjit Singh Panjwar in Pakistan last month, Nijjar claimed, “I have information that a list has been prepared with my name on it.”
He was heard making such a claim in his speeches as well.
“Nijjar had delivered a speech at the gurudwara just before he was shot dead. In that speech, he had said that any day could be his last day. He had been saying this on every stage for some time,” Kanwar Pal Singh of Dal Khalsa said.
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Nijjar, who had migrated to Canada in 1997, and worked as a plumber, also faced charges in several cases registered by Punjab Police, leading to a red corner notice against him.
According to a Punjab government order in 2020, a total of 11 kanal and 13.5 marla of land belonging to Nijjar was seized in his village Bhar Singh Pura in Phillaur subdivision of Jalandhar district.
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A village resident said Nijjar and his family had migrated a long time ago, but his parents frequently visited the village and were last there before the Covid lockdown.