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Business News/ News / World/  'Khalistan' elements in Canada attracting Sikh youth through visa sponsorship, says report
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'Khalistan' elements in Canada attracting Sikh youth through visa sponsorship, says report

Pro-Khalistan groups in Canada are reportedly luring Sikh youth from India to advance their separatist agenda. These groups control gurdwaras and have formed alliances with gangsters in Punjab.

A supporter waves a pro-independence Khalistan flag during a protest outside India's consulate, a week after Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised the prospect of New Delhi's involvement in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. (Reuters)Premium
A supporter waves a pro-independence Khalistan flag during a protest outside India's consulate, a week after Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised the prospect of New Delhi's involvement in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. (Reuters)

Within Canada, there are individuals or groups supportive of Khalistan who are enticing and easily influencing Sikh youth to immigrate to North America, reported PTI citing sources.

According to PTI, they are offering sponsorship for their visas, but their primary intention is to manipulate these individuals into advancing their Khalistan-related goals within the Canadian territory.

The sources told PTI that Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, whose killing has led to a row between India and Canada, and other individuals like Moninder Singh Bual, Parminder Pangli, Bhagat Singh Brar have been using the lured Sikh youth to carry out their pro-Khalistan agenda from Canadian soil.

Also Read: Nijjar killing row: ‘Canada has seen a lot of organized crime’, says Jaishankar

Furthermore, they encountered a deficiency of manpower as a result of insufficient backing from the diaspora.

Khalistanis In Canada

Pro-Khalistan extremists in Canada took advantage of this "demand and supply matrix" by introducing an innovative scheme: they offered sponsorship to susceptible Sikh youth from Punjab, enabling them to secure medium-skilled positions such as plumbers or truck drivers, or engage in religious roles like 'Sewadars,' 'Pathis,' and 'Ragis' in gurdwaras under their control, PTI reported.

Also Read: India-Canada feud threatens to hurt trade and investment. Here's what's at stake

“These pro-Khalistan extremists sponsor visas of such Punjabi youth and visits to Canada in lieu of exploiting them for doing pro-Khalistan activities in Canada like participating in anti-India protests and programmes and conducting radical-religious congregations", sources told PTI.

Subsequently, they identify and locate Indian youth and students in Canada who are struggling to financially support themselves and require assistance with various jobs and housing.

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“Illegal immigrants in Canada and students, who have complete their studies in Canada but have not been able to find suitable jobs, are the most susceptible. Pro-Khalistan extremists offer them shelter and low scale jobs for sustenance using gurdwara resources", they said.

These "indebted" youth join "the Khalistan brigade in Canada" willingly or unwillingly.

“When ISI backed Khalistani group ‘Sikhs For Justice’ was finding difficult to get support for its anti-India campaign ’Punjab Independence Referendum', Nijjar and his friends used these ‘foot soldiers’ to give an impression that their campaign was successful", the sources said.

Also Read: India-Canada Row: NIA to seize properties of 19 more Khalistani extremists, says report

It is easier for these pro-Khalistan extremists to now get more and more such people as they control over 30 gurdwaras in Surrey, Brampton, Edmonton etc.

PTI noted citing sources that Nijjar, Bual and Brar also formed an "unholy nexus" with gangsters in Punjab like Davinder Bambhia gang, Arsh Dalla gang, Lakhbir Landa gang and brought these wanted gangsters to Canada in lieu of using their operatives in Punjab for terror attacks.

“Some pro-Khalistan political parties in India charged one to two lakh rupees for giving ‘letter’ to youth, who use it for seeking political asylum in Canada after falsely claiming that they were party cadres and being persecuted in India on religious grounds", they said.

These young individuals invariably become part of pro-Khalistan groups once they arrive in Canada. For any legitimate traveler to Canada, it's well-known that obtaining a Canadian visa is an exceptionally challenging and time-consuming process.

“This ‘human trafficking’ channel run by pro-Khalistan extremists remains undisrupted under the very nose of Canadian agencies, even though the North American country overtly may be very sensitive to human trafficking", the sources told PTI.

Also Read: Punjab police raids premises of Khalistani extremist Lakhbir Singh's associates amid India-Canada row | Watch

The dispute between New Delhi and Ottawa began when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on September 18, made an accusation of the "possible" participation of Indian agents in the killing of Nijjar in June.

India vehemently denied these claims, labeling them as "unfounded" and "driven by ulterior motives." In response to Ottawa's expulsion of an Indian official in connection with the case, India reciprocated by expelling a senior Canadian diplomat.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Published: 28 Sep 2023, 08:23 AM IST
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