Amid the row over the killing of extremist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, officials in New Delhi claimed India had informed about nine separatist organisations supporting terror groups have bases in Canada and added the Canadian government did not take any steps to curb those involved in heinous crimes, including the killing of popular Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala.?
They said that pro-Khalistani outfits such as the World Sikh Organization (WSO), Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) working at the behest of Pakistan have been allegedly operating freely from the Canadian soil.
This came a day after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country was investigating credible allegations that Indian government agents were connected to the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, but India has rejected the allegations as absurd.
India has long demanded that Canada take action against the Sikh independence movement, which is banned in India but has support among the sizable Sikh diaspora populations overseas, including in Canada and the UK.
India asks Canada to deport wanted terrorists but it did not take any action: Official
The issue of deportations of wanted terrorists and gangsters has been raised by Indian authorities at multiple diplomatic and security talks but the Canadian authorities remained non-committal and brazen in support of these terror elements, the officials said.
Multiple dossiers have been handed over to the Canadian side but India's deportation requests have gone unaddressed, they said, adding at least nine separatist organisations supporting terror groups have found their bases in Canada.
Eight individuals involved in terror activities and as many gangsters, who have been conspiring with Pakistan's ISI, have found a safe haven in Canada, the officials said.
They said that deportation requests for these people -- including Gurwant Singh who was involved in terrorist activities in the early 1990s -- have been pending with the Canadian authorities for years now. An Interpol Red Corner Notice is also pending against him.
The officials said Indian authorities had requested the deportation of Gurpreet Singh, who is also involved in terror cases, and provided his Canadian address but no action was taken. They said the request for the deportation of dreaded gangsters including Arshdeep Singh alias Arsh Dalla, wanted in 16 criminal cases, Satinderjit Singh Brar alias Goldy Brar, who took responsibility for the killing of famous Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala, had been submitted with evidence against them but no action was taken by the Canadian government.
The separatist organisations were openly issuing assassination threats, fuelling separatists' agenda and carrying out targeted killings in India, they said.
They pointed out that the high-profile assassination of popular singer Sidhu Moosewala by the Canada-based gangster with affiliations to pro-Khalistan elements "is a classic example of this".
Other Canada-based wanted terrorists are Gurwant Singh Bath of the Dashmesh regiment of Khalistan, Bhagat Singh Brar (who is son of Pakistan-based terrorist Lakhbeer Singh Rhode), Moninder Singh Bual, Satinder Pal Singh Gill, they said.
Who was Hardeep Singh Nijjar?
Nijjar, who carried a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh, was born in Punjab on November 10, 1977, and was affiliated with the now-banned Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF). He was arrested in the mid-1990s. He managed to get bail and fled India on February 19, 1997 by assuming a fake identity of Ravi Sharma and securing a travel document in that name.
In 2013-14, Nijjar visited Pakistan where he met Jagtar Singh Tara of Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), wanted in the assassination of Punjab former chief minister Beant Singh. He was during that period roped in by the ISI, which helped him in organising secret training camps for Sikh extremist groups associated with the Khalistan movement in Missigen Hills, British Columbia.
Nijjar, who was designated as a terrorist by the Union Home Ministry, was also accused of working closely with Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) led by Jagtar Singh Tara. He has been associated with Dal Khalsa leader
Gajender Singh, a key accused in the hijacking of an Indian Airlines flight in 1981.
His name figured in the most wanted list handed over by then-Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2018.
(With inputs from agency)