Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had ignored a list of nine terrorists sent by India in 2018, former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh alleged on Saturday in an article for The Indian Express.

The Bharatiya Janata Party leader made the statement six days after Trudeau told the Canadian parliament that his country’s security agencies “have been pursuing credible allegations about the potential link between agents of the government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen” who supported the creation of a separate state for Sikhs.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the chief of the Khalistan Tiger Force, had been shot dead in the parking lot of a gurdwara in Surrey near Vancouver on June 18. Trudeau’s comments on the possible involvement of Indian agents in the killing led to escalating tensions between New Delhi and Ottawa.

On Saturday, Singh termed Trudeau’s allegations as “completely absurd, atrocious, malicious and outrageous”. He said that while Canada is demanding the Indian government’s cooperation into Nijjar’s murder, it had often ignored New Delhi’s concerns about providing shelter to extremists.

“When I met Trudeau as Chief Minister of Punjab on behalf of the Government of India in February 2018 at Amritsar, I handed over a list of nine A-category terrorists to him for action,” he said in his opinion piece for The Indian Express. “But the Canadian government chose to ignore the list completely.”

Singh, who left the Congress in November 2021, alleged that Trudeau’s father, former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, sheltered the culprits behind the bombing of an Air India aircraft in 1985 in which 329 persons died.

“And now they have the audacity to point a finger at India, which has been a victim of terrorism for decades,” he said in the article.

Diplomatic crisis

After Justin Trudeau’s statement in the Canadian parliament on Monday, Ottawa expelled Pavan Kumar Rai, the head of the Research and Analysis Wing in the country. In a tit-for-tat move, India also expelled a senior Canadian diplomat.

On Thursday, New Delhi also suspended visa services for Canadian citizens indefinitely and issued an advisory for Indians in Canada amid “growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes”.

On Friday, Trudeau said that his country had shared with New Delhi the “credible allegation” that Indian agents may have been linked to Nijjar’s murder several weeks ago. He added that Canada wants to work constructively with India, and urged it to engage with his government