"all steps be taken to hold perpetrators of this murder to account.”
Justin Trudeau has said India was involved in the alleged assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian Sikh leader.
Stating there is “credible evidence”, the Canadian Prime Minister told the House of Commons that in recent weeks, national security authorities had been probing allegations that the Indian government was behind an assassination.
Mr Trudeau said: “Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty.
“Canada is a rule-of-law country, the protection of our citizens in defence of our sovereignty are fundamental.
“Our top priorities have therefore been one, that our law enforcement and security agencies ensure the continued safety of all Canadians.
“And two, that all steps be taken to hold perpetrators of this murder to account.”
Mr Trudeau said the alleged killing is “contrary to the fundamental rules by which free, open, and democratic societies conduct themselves”.
The foreign affairs minister, Mélanie Joly, said Canada had expelled a “key Indian diplomat” and “expects India to fully collaborate with us and ultimately to get to the bottom of this”.
Meanwhile, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said it “rejected” the claims, adding that allegations of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are “absurd and motivated”.
The statement read: “We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to rule of law.”
In response to Justin Trudeau’s claims, the ministry said it would expel a senior Canadian diplomat.
The Indian government’s decision reflects its “growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities”.
Mr Trudeau’s allegations are likely to further strain relations between India and Canada.
Mr Trudeau said he raised the issue “in no uncertain terms” with Narendra Modi when the two met briefly in New Delhi for the G20 summit.
The New Democratic party leader, Jagmeet Singh said there must be consequences for the assassination.
He said: “To hear the prime minister of Canada corroborate a potential link between a murder of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil by a foreign government is something I could never have imagined.
“We will ensure that no rock is unturned, that every possible link is examined.”
The Conservative leader, Pierre Poilievre, said that if the allegations are true, they “represent an outrageous affront to Canada”, adding that citizens should be free from extrajudicial killings.
He added: “Canadians deserve to be protected on Canadian soil.
“We call on the Indian government to act with utmost transparency as authorities investigate this murder because the truth must come out.”
In June 2023, Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot and killed in front of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia.
Nijjar was a strong advocate of the Khalistani movement, which seeks an independent homeland for Sikhs in Punjab, India.
India previously claimed Nijjar was part of a plan to murder a priest in Punjab, offering a reward of £9,600.
Nijjar’s death led many to accuse India of playing a role in the killing.
The World Sikh Organisation said: “Today, the prime minister of Canada has publicly said what Sikhs in Canada have known for decades – India actively targets Sikhs in Canada.”
This comes a week after Justin Trudeau attended the G20 Summit, where there were signs of tension with Mr Modi.
After the meeting, Mr Modi’s office said the Indian leader had “strong concerns about continuing anti-Indian activists of extremist elements in Canada”.
India and Canada have been negotiating a trade agreement, but talks have halted.