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Advocate for separate Sikh state shot dead in Canada

OTTAWA (AFP) – A campaigner for a Sikh nation to be carved out of India’s Punjab state who was wanted by Indian authorities was shot dead in Canada, police said on Monday.

Federal police said in a statement that a man was found in his pickup truck in the parking lot of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara temple in Surrey, British Columbia, around 8.30pm on Sunday, “suffering from apparent gunshot wounds”.

“The man died of his injuries at the scene,” the Royal Canadian Mounted Police added.

Police did not initially identify the victim, but later said he was 45-year-old Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the temple’s president who advocated for the creation of a Sikh state known as Khalistan. The later police statement said they were releasing his identity “in hopes of advancing their investigation”.

“We understand there is a lot of speculation regarding the motive of this homicide, but we are dedicated to learning the facts and letting the evidence lead our investigation,” said the police.