Intelligence inputs available with the Indian government indicate Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency is using Sikh extremists in Canada for pro-Khalistan and anti-India activities.
Among them are an alleged associate of Jagtar Singh Tara, who was involved in the 1995 assassination of Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, and was arrested in Thailand and deported to India in January last year.
That person is believed to be Hardeep Singh Nijjar, from Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver in British Columbia. Indian security agencies say Nijjar travelled to Thailand in December 2014 to meet Tara and provided financial help to him.
Later, apparently on the instruction of Tara, Nijjar travelled to Pakistan to arrange for Tara’s escape from Thailand with the help of the ISI. Intelligence agencies suspect Nijjar was involved in a plan to attack camps of Dera Sacha Sauda, the sect led by Rah Rahim Singh.
Intelligence agencies indicate that Pakistan-based Babbar Khalsa International’s Wadhawa Singh has a network in Canada and one Sulinder Singh, from Brampton, is a close associate and frequently visits Pakistan. He is also believed to collect funds for Wadhawa Singh.
Similarly, Khalistan Zindabad Force’s Ranjit Singh Neeta has developed a network in Canada through a person identified as Lakhwinder Singh.
In addition, others believed to be involved in collecting funds named by security agencies include Avtar Singh Rai, Sukhdev Singh Babbar, Amarjit Singh Chahal, Darshan Singh and Bhagat Singh Baggu.
Other prominent pro-Khalistan elements in Canada are Sukhminder Singh Hansra of World Sikh Organisation, Balkar Singh Hayer of Khalistan Liberation Organisation, Avatar Singh Punia of United Front of Khalistan, and Jay Grewal of Sikh Activist Network.
Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri, both acquitted in the 1985 bombing of Air India flight 182 that claimed more than 300 lives, remain at large in Canada.