Canada yet to act on Interpol notices against Khalistani gangsters | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Canada yet to act on Interpol notices against Khalistani gangsters

Sep 21, 2023 05:32 AM IST

There are 21 key gangsters based in Canada who are wanted by Indian agencies.

New Delhi: Before Hardeep Singh Nijjar was killed by unknown assailants outside a gurdwara in British Columbia in June, Punjab police had approached Canadian authorities (in 2022) seeking his extradition to India.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar (File photo)
Hardeep Singh Nijjar (File photo)

But Nijjar wasn’t the only one against whom action or information has been sought under the 1987 extradition treaty and the 1998 mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) or through other formal routes such as Interpol.

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According to data accessed by HT, while the extradition request for Nijjar was nullified after his death, similar extradition requests against Babbar Khalsa International leader Lakhbir Singh Landa and gangster-turned-Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) leader Arshdeep Singh alias Arsh Dala are already in the pipeline after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a charge sheet against them in July.

READ | Who is Pavan Kumar Rai, Indian diplomat expelled by Canada over Hardeep Nijjar killing?

Acting on Indian agencies’ requests, Interpol has also issued red notices against Landa, Dala, Satwinderjeet Singh alias Goldy Brar, Malkit Singh Fauji, Gurpinder Singh alias Baba Dalla, Gurjit Singh Cheema, and Gurpreet Singh, among others. Besides, Interpol’s more informal ‘blue notices’ have also been taken out against half a dozen Khalistani gangsters based in Canada.

However, a senior officer said, “Canada, which is a member of Interpol and talks about the rule of law, has disregarded Interpol red notices. As a rule, once a red notice is issued, a member country is bound to take the suspect(s) into custody”.

READ | Five Eyes intelligence alliance backs Canada probe in Nijjar killing: What is it

Overall, there are 21 key gangsters based in Canada who are wanted by Indian agencies and their list and detailed evidence against them has been shared with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on more than one occasion in the past year.

Besides, a second officer said, Canadian police in the cities of Vancouver, Surrey and Ottawa have also often issued wanted notices against certain second generation Khalistani operatives there but the men in question roam freely.

“We have a proper coordination mechanism and regular information exchange with the Canadian police. But credible action is not taken by them despite the Canadian law clearly stating that its soil cannot be used for any criminal activity anywhere in the world. Canadian authorities are in fact yet to act against several suspects involved in the June 1985 Kanishka bombing (Air India Flight 182) in which 329 people were killed,” said the officer cited above.

Earlier this year, Indian counterterrorism officials had informed the government during the director general-inspector general (DG/IG) conference of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) that Khalistanis based in Canada were using modus operandi such as letters to politicians there, creating signature campaigns, forcing debates in legislatures and calling for punitive measures against India.

A key organisation behind these activities is Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), run by Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, which has already been banned by the ministry of home affairs (MHA).

An analysis by Punjab police, seen by HT, suggests that 220 persons/families received financial assistance from SFJ. “The financial investigations have revealed that 178 individuals received 7.19 lakh from Canada-based SFJ activists,” the analysis stated.

Subsequently, Punjab police alone identified 142 websites and more than 100 social media accounts being operated by SFJ.READ

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