New Delhi, September 20
The long-pending citizenship application of Hardeep Singh Nijjar was okayed by Canada within months after a Red-Corner Notice (RCN) was issued against him.
Acting on an RCN, which is issued through Interpol, a country has to arrest the accused and deport him or her. However, Canada did the exact opposite, said an official.
Red-corner notice issued 9 years ago
- 1st Red-Corner Notice against Nijjar in 2014, second in 2016
- Got citizenship in 2015, said a Canadian minister on Tuesday
- On Wednesday, he said Nijjar got it in 2007, a claim doubted by Indian agencies
During talks with Canada, the Indian Government had mentioned how the citizenship application of Nijjar was approved by Canada months after the first RCN was issued on November 14, 2014.
The first RCN was issued after a case (FIR No. 159) was registered against Nijjar at the Kotwali police station, Patiala, by the Punjab Police. The second RCN was issued in FIR No. 19 lodged at the Nurpur police station, Ropar, in 2016.
In a post on ‘X’ on Tuesday night, Canada’s Immigration Minister Marc Miller said: “I can confirm that Nijjar became a Canadian citizen on March 3, 2015. I hope this dispels the baseless rumours that he was not a Canadian.” On Wednesday, however, Miller posted, “Nijjar became a Canadian citizen on May 25, 2007, earlier than I stated. The error in dates is my responsibility to assume.” Indian agencies have doubted Miller’s latest claim. The issue of citizenship had already been flagged to Canada and also to the Interpol.
The Indian side had also asked Ottawa how Nijjar kept on living in Canada from 1997 to 2015. Nijjar arrived at Toronto aboard a flight on February 10, 1997, using a fraudulent passport issued in the name of ‘Ravi Sharma’. Nijjar had shorn his hair after a raid in 1996 at his uncle’s house in UP where he was hiding after the Punjab Police had detained him in 1995.
Nijjar gave an affidavit, along with a medical record of alleged torture in India, in June 1998 to Canada seeking refuge. His plea was rejected by the Canadian authorities.
On November 21, 1998, less than two weeks after Nijjar’s claim was rejected, he married a woman who sponsored him. Immigration officials noted his wife had arrived in Canada in 1997, “sponsored by a different husband”.
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