Nijjar murder suspect says he had Canadian study permit in immigration company video

The Canadian Press

Posted on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 4:20 pmEDT

Last updated Wednesday, May 8, 2024 4:34 pmEDT

One of the Indian citizens accused of murdering British Columbia Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar says in a video on social media that he received a Canadian study permit with the help of an Indian immigration consultancy.

In the Facebook video posted in December 2019 by EthicWorks Immigration Services and first reported by Global News, Karan Brar says his “study visa has arrived,” while a photo shows him holding what appears to be a passport with a Canadian study permit inside.

An EthicWorks caption congratulates Brar and calls him “one more happy customer from Kotkapura,” referring to a city in the Punjab region of India.

A separate Facebook account belonging to Karan Brar of Kotkapura and showing photos resembling the suspect suggests he began studying at Bow Valley College in Calgary in April 2020 before moving to Edmonton a month later.

Bow Valley College spokesperson Shannon van Leenen said in a statement that an individual named Karan Brar was enrolled in the college’s eight-month hospital unit clerk certification program in 2020, but she could not confirm if it was the same person than the man accused in Nijjar. murder.

EthicWorks, which says it has offices in Punjab and Kitchener, Ont., did not respond to a request for comment.

Brar, Kamalpreet Singh and Karanpreet Singh were arrested in Edmonton last week and are due to appear in Surrey provincial court on May 21 on charges of murder and conspiracy.

Nijjar’s murder triggered a breakdown in the relationship between Canada and India after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said credible intelligence implicated the Indian government in the death, which it denies.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said it “cannot comment on active investigations or individual cases” when asked about the suspects’ immigration status.

“Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada works closely with its partners… to carry out comprehensive security screening to help identify those who could pose a threat to Canadians and mitigate potential security risks associated with those who are attempting to enter Canada,” he said in a statement Tuesday, after the three suspects made their first video appearance in Surrey provincial court.

He reiterated the statement when asked about the video on Wednesday.

Nijjar was the president of the Surrey gurdwara where he was shot and was also a strong supporter of an independent Sikh state in India. The Indian government considered him a terrorist.

Protesters from the Nijjar temple demonstrated outside the Surrey court on Tuesday and filled the courtroom where the three defendants appeared.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2024.

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