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Sikh leader denied entry into Canada

india Updated: Sep 14, 2006 11:48 IST
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A Sikh priest has been denied entry into Canada because he was convicted of killing a rival religious leader in India, even though he was eventually pardoned, a Canadian Conservative MP has said.

Ranjit Singh, who was one of five Jathedars (leaders) of Sikhism until his removal in 1999, should never have been given a visa to visit Canada two weeks ago, but a mistake was made at the Canadian consulate in Chandigarh, Ed Fast, the conservative MP from Abbotsford said in a statement.

"The original visa in India should never have been issued. There was some confusion over two different names that were being used," he said after he was approached on Sept 1 by the Abbotsford Sikh temple who had sponsored Singh's visit.

The priest was to be the guest of honour at an Abbotsford religious parade that was held September 3.

The members of the Sikh temple were upset that Singh was not allowed to leave Vancouver International Airport after arriving on the evening of August 30.

Temple president Swarn Singh Gill said his executive waited for hours for Singh after his plane reached Vancouver, but were not given a chance to talk to him in person or on the phone before immigration officials sent him back.

Fast said, when he looked into the matter, he learned that the visitor's visa that had been given to Singh was an error because of some confusion on the part of Canadian officials in India.

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