Canada expelled a “senior” Indian diplomat. Who is Pavan Kumar Rai?

Canada expelled a “senior Indian diplomat” on Monday after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dropped a major allegation that Indian government agents were linked to the June k*****g of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia.

The diplomat in question is Pavan Kumar Rai, according to the office of Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly. He was posted to the Indian High Commission in Ottawa and Joly told reporters in Ottawa on Monday that the expulsion was “a consequence” of the intelligence.

Joly said Rai headed the Canadian branch of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s foreign intelligence service.

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“Allegations that a representative of a foreign government may have been involved in the murder of a Canadian here in Canada, on Canadian soil, are not only disturbing, but completely unacceptable,” she said.

“If true, it would constitute a grave violation of our sovereignty and the most fundamental rule on how countries deal with each other. »

The Indian High Commission’s website lists Rai as minister of “environment, coordination and community affairs.” And even though Canadian officials provide few details about his background, Indian media are talking more about his background and previous roles.

PKBNEWS has not independently verified Indian media reports on Rai’s background and previous publications.

What are the Indian media saying?

According to Indian Outlook Magazine, a weekly English-language news publication, Rai is a 1997 batch officer of the Indian Police Service (IPS). He was posted to the Sikh-majority northern state of Punjab, which in the 1980s and early 1990s was the center of armed conflict between the Indian state and militants. Sikhs fighting for secession.

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According to the Indian Express daily, Rai was appointed chief police officer of Tarn Taran district in Punjab, bordering Pakistan, in 2009 and 2010. The district became known for cross-border drug trafficking which led to an epidemic of drug use. in Punjab.

The Free Press Journal, an English daily based in Mumbai, rreported that Rai, 53, developed a “close professional relationship” with Samant Kumar Goel, the former head of India’s spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

Rai’s a*sociation with Goel, who was also in the Punjab cadre of the Indian Police Service, and his experience and expertise were said to have been key to his appointment in the agency.

In 2018, the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Rai’s appointment to the ministerial post and he was soon transferred to Ottawa to work at the Indian High Commission.

After Trudeau said Canadian authorities were investigating “potential links” between Nijjar’s k*****g and Indian government agents, India refuted the claims.

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Although he did not mention Rai by name, he rejected what he called Canada’s “absurd” claims. In retaliation, India also expelled a senior Canadian diplomat. The unnamed senior diplomat has been asked to leave India within the next five days.

“Such unsubstantiated allegations are aimed at diverting attention from Khalistan terrorists and extremists, who have taken refuge in Canada and continue to threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India,” the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a press release.

“The decision reflects the Indian government’s growing concern over interference by Canadian diplomats in our internal affairs,” he said.

Nijjar was a strong advocate for the creation of Khalistan, a distinct Sikh homeland in the Indian subcontinent.

India views the Khalistan movement as an affront to its sovereignty.

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Nijjar was the subject of an arrest warrant in India on terrorism charges, which he had denied before his death. He was k**led in the parking lot of his gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18.

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