Justin Trudeau's major challenge amid diplomatic row: Canada's gang wars

Sep 25, 2023 10:02 PM IST

The latest killing of a gangster in Canada likely to act as a wake-up call for Canadian authorities, which rejected India's repeated concerns over gang wars.

Amid soaring diplomatic tensions between India and Canada after Justin Trudeau alleged New Delhi's role in connection with separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar's killing, frictions between several pro-Khalistan gangs operating in Canada have spiralled which led them to settle scores jutted out of long-standing battles. The latest fallout of such a battle is the killing of Sukhdool Singh alias Sukha Duneke, member of infamous Davinder Bambiha gang.

Sikhs for the independence of Khalistan protest in front of the Indian Consulate in Toronto, Canada, on July 8, 2023.(AFP)
Sikhs for the independence of Khalistan protest in front of the Indian Consulate in Toronto, Canada, on July 8, 2023.(AFP)

Also read: No evidence or intel shared, Canada should name Nijjar’s killer, says Indian official

Trans-national gangster Goldy Brar, who has links with the Lawrence Bishnoi gang, has claimed responsibility for the killing. "He had to pay for his sins. One can run across the globe to hide but ultimately have to pay for our deeds," he said on a social media post. The gangster is accused of killing Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala.

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The recent killing of Duneke was no different than the gunning down of Nijjar, a self-styled chief of proscribed terror outfit Khalistan Tiger Force, who was allegedly killed in an inter-gang rivalry near a gurudwara in Canada's Surrey in June. The pro-Khalistan leader was believed to have developed rivalry with Ripudaman Singh Malik, one of the main accused in the 1985 Air India bombing, otherwise known as the Kanishka bombing case. He was said to be toning down his anti-India rhetoric after he appeared on his rivals' hit list, however, killed in Surrey last year.

Is Canada a safe haven for these gangsters?

  1. New Delhi has been raising concerns repeatedly with Canadian intel agencies over gang wars being carried out on Canadian soil, which were eventually turned down citing the evidence on the matter was not credible.
  2. Gangsters allegedly work in tandem with pro-Khalistan operatives in Canada who in-turn fund them to help move out of India and carry out anti-India activities from foreign land.
  3. Sikh For Justice, a banned pro-Khalistan group in India, has reportedly supported these gangsters. According to News18, these gangsters commit crimes in India and with the help of SFJ links they move to Canada and eventually carry out illegal activities including money laundering, drug trade and extortion.
  4. After repeated nudges, the Canadian government has evidently taken no significant action against these pro-Khalistan operatives. Then chief minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh had raised concerns with Trudeau over Canadian soil being exploited against India's interest. However, the Canadian authorities failed to take substantial measures on the matter.
  5. Canada has been listed among top countries where at least six most-wanted gangster-turned-radicals' and 13 drug smugglers have been living for the past several years.
  6. Punjab Police released a list of seven most-wanted gangsters last year who flew from India to Canada on fake documents. Duneke was one of them.
  7. Several others are believed to have been sympathisers of the Khalistan movement and provided logistical, financial support and arranged meetings.

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