2 pro-Khalistan supporters on Canada’s no-fly list lose appeal - Hindustan Times
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2 pro-Khalistan supporters on Canada’s no-fly list lose appeal

Jun 22, 2024 06:00 AM IST

A Canadian court has rejected an appeal by two alleged Khalistan supporters to be taken off a no-fly list they were placed on in 2018

Toronto : A Canadian court has rejected an appeal by two alleged Khalistan supporters to be taken off a no-fly list they were placed on in 2018.

A Canadian court has rejected an appeal by two alleged Khalistan supporters, Bhagat Singh Brar and Parvkar Singh Dulai, to be taken off a no-fly list they were placed on in 2018
A Canadian court has rejected an appeal by two alleged Khalistan supporters, Bhagat Singh Brar and Parvkar Singh Dulai, to be taken off a no-fly list they were placed on in 2018

The agency Canadian Press reported that Bhagat Singh Brar and Parvkar Singh Dulai wanted their no-fly designations under the Secure Air Travel Act to be removed. However, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled against their plea, which challenged a judgment from a court in 2022 that upheld their being placed on the list.

The court found that the government had “reasonable grounds to suspect that the appellants would travel by air to commit a terrorism offence”.

The hearings were held on June 13 and June 17 and the decision was delivered on June 19 by the three-judge bench.

Brar is believed to be the son of Lakhbir Singh Rode, considered the head of the International Sikh Youth Federation, which is a proscribed terrorist entity in Canada. Rode, the nephew of extremist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, died in Pakistan in December last year. Bhindranwale was killed in June 1984 when Indian forces stormed the Golden Temple in Amritsar during Operation Bluestar.

Brar was prevented from boarding a flight at Vancouver International Airport on April 24, 2018, while Dulai was denied boarding at the same airport on May 17 the same year.

In July 2020, the outlet Global News had reported that Brar, based in Brampton in the Greater Toronto Area, was accused in documents of Canadian security agencies of “working with Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service to plan an attack in India that was disrupted in 2017”. Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI is Pakistan’s spy agency.

The same documents, the outlet reported, alleged Dulai, based in Surrey, British Columbia, was “suspected to be a facilitator of terrorist-related activities, and has shown an ongoing pattern of involvement within the Khalistani extremist milieu”.

In 2019, Brar and Dulai went to the Federal Court of Canada to have their names struck from the list.

But Justice Simon Noel ruled against them both in 2022.

The limits imposed on Dulai, he ruled, “were the result of evidence-based suspicions that he could fly abroad in order to plot a terrorist attack”.

“The Government of Canada must enact laws that protect national security and intelligence activities in a way that respects rights and freedoms and encourages the international community to do the same,” Noel ruled.

In their appeal, both Brar and Dulai argued the impairment of their rights as a result of being placed on the list was not “minimal” and therefore unjustified.

However, the appellate court ruled the legislation was justified and that confidential portions of the court process were procedurally fair.

The court’s ruling came against the backdrop of severe strain in India-Canada ties following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations in September last year of a “potential” involvement of Indian agents in Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing.

New Delhi rejected Trudeau’s charges as “absurd” and “motivated”.

India has been maintaining that the main issue between the two countries is that of Ottawa giving space to pro-Khalistan elements operating from Canadian soil with impunity.

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