If Canada proves allegations of Indian involvement, experts say killing would violate international, human rights law.

The fallout continues from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement that his government is investigating “credible allegations of a potential link” between the Indian government and the killing of a Sikh leader in British Columbia.

If those allegations are proven, experts said the June 18 killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar would represent a targeted, extrajudicial killing on foreign soil – and mark a flagrant violation of international law.

“The way Canada chooses to deal with this will show how seriously it’s taking this matter,” Amanda Ghahremani, a Canadian international criminal lawyer, told Al Jazeera.

India has roundly rejected any involvement in the deadly shooting outside a Sikh tem

ple in Surrey, calling Trudeau’s comments on the floor of the Canadian Parliament on Monday “absurd” and politically motivated.

New Delhi also accused Ottawa of failing to prevent Sikh “extremism”, as the Indian authorities previously had designated Nijjar – a prominent leader who supported the creation of an independent Sikh state in India – as a “terrorist”.

India has for years accused Canada of harbouring “extremist” supporters of the so-called Khalistan movement, which seeks an independent homeland for Sikhs in the modern Indian state of Punjab.

While observers say the movement largely reached its peak in the 1980s, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and its backers have regularly framed Sikh separatism as a pressing matter of national security.

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