1695888868 A video of the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in

A video of the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in the hands of The Washington Post –

The gurdwara in British Columbia where a Sikh separatist leader was shot dead has launched an investigation into how a US newspaper was able to view surveillance camera footage of the June killing.

Gurkeerat Singh, who said he was the spokesman for the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, said it was unclear how The Washington Post (New Window) was able to view the video of Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s death.

The video was not intended for the media or public as it is an ongoing investigation. This video should not be sent to anyone, he said.

While Mr. Singh refused to allow the Canadian Press to review the video taken at the temple of the shooting, he did confirm the Washington Post’s information.

He said he had seen the 90-second video several times. According to Mr. Singh, the video shows Mr. Nijjar leaving the temple parking lot in his gray pickup truck. A white car drives parallel, then crosses in front of the vehicle and stops, preventing Mr Nijjar from leaving the scene.

Two gunmen get out of the car out of camera range to shoot the victim, Mr. Singh said, adding that surveillance footage shows the shooting was planned and well-orchestrated.

The shooters apparently knew Mr. Nijjar’s driving habits and routine, he repeated.

This didn’t happen by chance. These people have been watching Hardeep Singh’s movements for some time. They knew which direction he was going and how he left the gurdwara, Mr Singh said.

An escalation of tensions

Mr. Nijjar’s death sparked an escalation in diplomatic tensions between India and Canada after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in Parliament that Canadian intelligence agencies were investigating credible information about a possible link between the Indian government and the murder.

Mr. Nijjar was a staunch supporter of the Khalistan movement, which advocates for a separate Sikh homeland in the Punjab.

He was one of the organizers of the unofficial referendum in several countries calling for a separate homeland for Sikhs. The independence movement angered the Indian government, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed serious concerns to Trudeau about the way Canada was handling the movement.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar surrounded by demonstrators.

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Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot dead in the parking lot of the Sikh temple he led in Surrey, Metro Vancouver.

Photo: Sikhs for Justice

“It was just an explosion”

Malkit Singh was the goalkeeper during a soccer match with friends at a field near the gurdwara on June 18 when he heard what sounded like fireworks.

Someone said, “It’s not fireworks, it’s gunshots,” he said in an interview translated from Punjabi. It was just an explosion, shots again and again. Then we saw two men running away, so me and a few players chased them. And two other people ran towards the gurdwara to see what was going on. I was barefoot because that’s how I tend to get to the finish.

The two men who ran so fast were wearing black hoodies and black pants, and their heads were covered with light pieces of cloth. They didn’t wear turbans. “We just couldn’t catch them before they disappeared,” the witness said.

The demonstrators mainly waved flags in support of the creation of Khalistan.

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Around a hundred people gathered in front of the Indian Consulate in Vancouver on Monday, September 25, 2023.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Sophie Chevance

Malkit Singh said two days later, a friend showed him a surveillance video on his cell phone from the gurdwara parking lot that showed a light-colored car following Mr. Nijjar’s truck and then stopping the van at the exit. He and his friend were part of a committee led by Mr. Nijjar, he said, and therefore had access to the video.

Mr. Nijjar knew he was a target, Malkit Singh said.

Another witness described seeing another vehicle drive over Mr Nijjar’s body.

Ongoing investigation

Sergeant Timothy Pierotti of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said Wednesday it was an active investigation and the team could not release further details. There is no indication why police did not tell the media that a second vehicle was involved in the murder.

The Washington Post also reported that it took police between 12 and 20 minutes to respond after the shooting.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police released a statement Tuesday to correct its record on the murder.

The first 911 call about this incident came in at 8:27 p.m. and the first officers arrived on scene within four minutes, with additional officers arriving shortly thereafter, the release said.

The Washington Post did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.