‘There’s no doubt any allegation of any country being accused of carrying out an execution of a citizen in that country, it’s a serious allegation,’ says Mike Burgess
Australia’s spy chief Mike Burgess said he sees no reason to dispute Canada’s allegations against India over the killing of a Sikh leader, local media reported on Thursday.
“No reason to dispute what the Canadian government has said in this matter,” the director general of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization told local broadcaster ABC News.
Burgess is in California for a meeting of Five Eyes intelligence partners, of which Australia and Canada are both members.
“There’s no doubt any allegation of any country being accused of carrying out an execution of a citizen in that country, it’s a serious allegation, and something that we don’t do and something that nations should not do,” he said.
He did not say whether or not the Canada-India dispute was discussed at the Five Eyes intelligence partners meeting.
In response to fears among the Sikh community in Australia of similar violence, he said, “I can assure you that when we find governments interfering in our country, or planning to interfere in our country, we will deal with them effectively.”
Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot dead on June 18 in Surrey, Canada’s westernmost province of British Columbia, in front of a Sikh temple.
However, the Canadian prime minister stated last month that there are “credible allegations” that the Indian government was behind Nijjar’s shooting death.
Nijjar was a vocal supporter of independence for a Khalistani state in the Punjab region. The Indian government has repeatedly insisted that Nijjar was a terrorist – a label his supporters denied – and at the recent G-20 summit in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chided Trudeau for allowing Sikh separatist protests in Canada.