Member of Parliament Sukh Dhaliwal says the shooting death of a religious leader in the parking lot of a British Columbia temple has prompted a meeting with Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino and members of the Sikh Liberal caucus.
Dhaliwal, who represents the Metro Vancouver riding of Surrey-Newton where the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar took place, posted a statement on Twitter, saying Sikh members of the Liberal caucus met with the minister “regarding the tragic incident at Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara.”
Dhaliwal says the caucus members were assured the federal government is working closely with law enforcement to solve the crime and protect the Sikh community and Canadians.
Surrey homicide investigators say 45-year-old Nijjar was gunned down in his vehicle as he was leaving the temple parking lot on Sunday night and police are looking for two male suspects.
Mendicino said on Twitter he is “disturbed” by the violence at the Surrey temple, saying all Canadians should be able to practice their faith safely and free from violence.
He says an RCMP investigation is ongoing and police will be there to support the community.
Neither Mendicino nor Dhaliwal were immediately available for further comment.
Nijjar, who was the temple’s president, was a vocal advocate for an independent Sikh state of Khalistan in India, where he was accused of terrorism and conspiring to murder a Hindu priest.
Nijjar’s lawyer Gurpatwant Singh Pannun has said Nijjar’s safety had been threatened after a reward was offered by the Indian government for his arrest last year.
Pannun denied that Nijjar was involved in any criminal or violent activity.