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3 accused in Nijjar killing make first court appearance in B.C.

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Three Indian nationals accused of murdering Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar appeared virtually in court Tuesday morning in Surrey.

Karanpreet Singh, Kamalpreet Singh, and Karan Brar are facing charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Brar and Karanpreet Singh's next appearances were set for May 21, while Kamalpreet Singh is still without a lawyer and will return to court on an undetermined date.

Brar and Karanpreet Singh have no contact orders in relation to seven individuals that will continue in advance of the trial, the cuort heard.

Dozens of supporters for Nijjar who was gunned down in June of last year outside the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple in Surrey gathered at the courthouse.

“We want to show them that we can’t be silenced in the wake of this type of violence”, says Moninder Singh, spokesperson for the gurdwara, who was in the courtroom. 

“The anger and frustration will always be there, it’s very difficult to get over this as a community with such a high-profile charismatic leader that we had."

The three suspects were arrested Friday in Edmonton before being transported to B.C.

In September, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the House of Commons that credible intelligence suggested that the Indian government played a role in the killing, which it denies.

Police who announced the arrests last week said investigations about a possible connection to foreign interference will continue.

Nijjar was a key advocate for an independent Sikh state in Punjab and was regarded by the country’s government as a terrorist.

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