A wanted Khalistani terrorist, Sukhdool Singh, was shot dead in Winnipeg, Canada on Wednesday night in an apparent gang-related attack. Singh, who went by the alias Sukha Duneke, was a prominent member of the Davinder Bambiha gang and had been living in Canada since 2017 after fleeing India on forged documents.
The killing comes amid escalating diplomatic tensions between India and Canada over the deaths of Khalistani extremists on Canadian soil. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently accused India of being linked to the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, another Khalistani terrorist who was shot near a gurdwara in Surrey in June. India has firmly rejected these allegations as “absurd and motivated”.
Escape to Canada
According to Indian authorities, Sukhdool Singh had seven criminal cases registered against him in India at the time of his escape to Canada. He was known to be involved in extortion, contract killings and other violent crimes as part of the Bambiha gang’s operations in parts of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan.
Singh managed to obtain false identity documents with the alleged help of two Punjab policemen, who were later arrested. This allowed him to flee India through Nepal and eventually reach Canada where he continued his criminal activities.
The killing of Sukhdool Singh comes just months after the shooting of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, which has become a major diplomatic dispute between Canada and India. Nijjar, the alleged chief of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force militant group, was gunned down in Vancouver in July.
While Indian officials have linked Nijjar to terror activities, Canadian PM Trudeau referred to him as a “Canadian citizen” in his accusations against India. The countries have exchanged diplomatic expulsions over the issue in recent months.
The escalating tensions have led India to issue an advisory warning its citizens in Canada of politically-motivated hate crimes and violence. Canada has released a similar advisory about possible attacks in India.
With Sukhdool Singh’s death, focus will again turn to Khalistani extremist groups that seem to be embroiled in gang warfare within Canada itself. Indian officials are likely to see this as further evidence that Canada is becoming a safe haven for wanted terrorists. However, the Canadian government maintains that it cannot condone any violations of its laws on its soil.