Sukhbir may put off Canada visit

Moga, Punjab: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal is undecided on his visit to Canada for meeting business barons, among them NRIs, in British Columbia and Ontario scheduled for September this year.

Sources said he had sought legal opinion whether or not to visit Canada owing to the legal threats posed to him by radical Sikh groups. The Deputy Chief Minister may postpone his visit indefinitely, the sources said.

Sikh human rights groups and some religious organisations in Canada have initiated a legal exercise for getting prosecution and arrest warrants issued against the Deputy Chief Minister.

Sikhs for Justice, a New York-based group, and the Canadian Sikh Coalition, a non-government organisation representing over 50 gurdwaras and Sikh societies, have alleged that Sukhbir, being the state Home Minister, commands a police force that has “committed, ordered, incited and abetted extra-judicial killings of several Canadian citizens in India.”

Daljit Singh Cheema, SAD spokesman, who was to visit Canada before Sukhbir’s visit for making arrangements, said the date for the Deputy CM’s visit would be decided only after the election of chairmen of Zila Parishads.

Attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal adviser of the Sikhs for Justice, talking to The Tribune from New York, said they were fully prepared to file two legal suits against Sukhbir in the courts of Ontario and Vancouver on the evidence of 12 Canadian citizens.

He said they had also made the Punjab police chief, Sumedh Singh Saini, and a few other police officers as co-accused in the cases as they were “directly involved in fake encounters and the disappearance of Canadian citizens.”

This was the first-ever attempt to hold Indian security forces responsible for the “torture and custodial deaths of Sikh citizens of Canada under the Canadian law,” Pannu claimed.

Source: The Tribune

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