British Columbia [Canada], September 23 (ANI): Amid the ongoing diplomatic stand-off between India and Canada, the Premier of British Columbia province, David Ebby has said the federal government is"holding back" information on the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, CBC News reported.
Eby was reported by CBC as saying that everything he knows about Nijjar's killing is "in the public realm," despite a briefing with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) director that he described as frustrating because there wasn't more concrete information.
This comes after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Parliament alleged India's role behind the killing this June of Nijjar on Canadian soil. New Delhi has outrightly denied the accusation as"absurd" and "motivated".
Eby said that he strongly suspects the government is"holding back information that could help the province protect its residents with connections to India from foreign interference".
He added that Canada's Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc had reached out, "but there has not been good information sharing," CBC News reported.
Eby was speaking at a media question-and-answer session after addressing local politicians at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities conference in Vancouver.
In response to the killing of Nijjar this June in Surrey, Eby said that"the priority should be protecting the criminal prosecution process so people can be held accountable, but on the broader issue of ensuring community safety, there's a long way to go to share that information," CBC News reported.
The BC premier further said he believes Ottawa has information through agencies including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) that could help respond to ground the situation in provinces.
"There is a gap between the information that Ottawa has and the ability to communicate that information with provinces where we can actually make a difference from using it in terms of response to issues on the ground... it was frustrating..." the Premier of British Columbia said.
"I understand there may need to be reform around the act that governs CSIS in order for them to be able to share this information," Eby told mediapersons.
"If that's what's required, let's make it happen because the only way that we're going to make traction on this is by the federal government trusting the provincial government with information and being able to act on it in our local communities," CBC News quoted him as saying.
Meanwhile, while addressing a news conference in New York on Thursday, Trudeau failed to present any evidence to back his claims. The Canadian Prime Minister was repeatedly quizzed on the nature of the allegations but stuck to reiterating that there were "credible reasons" to believe that India was linked to the death of Nijjar.
Hardeep Nijjar, a designated terrorist in India, was shot dead outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18.
Amid the ongoing diplomatic standoff, both countries expelled each other's senior diplomats. India has also halted visa services to Canada. (ANI)