Man deported for belonging to Sikh separatist group

Published: April 25, 2014

The Babbar Khalsa group was linked to the Air India bombing. (PNG Archive)

KEVEN DREWS
THE CANADIAN PRESS

VANCOUVER — Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board has ordered the deportation of a British man for belonging to a Sikh separatist group that was engaged in terrorism.

Board member Geoff Rempel said in a ruling released Friday that Gurmej Singh Gill was a prominent member of Babbar Khalsa, which was also known as Babbar Khalsa International, and was personally connected to the group’s international leaders, travelled extensively, attended conferences and engaged the media.

Rempel said Gill was likely aware of Babbar Khalsa’s terrorist activities during his tenure with the group, whether or not he supported them.

“It is difficult to believe that Mr. Gill could have been unaware of the terrorist activities perpetrated by the BK/BKI in the 1980s and early 1990s, yet he remained a prominent member of the organization for many years,” said Rempel.

“Even if Mr. Gill was comparatively moderate and did not approve of those tactics himself, he continued to belong to the organization.”

As a result, Gill is inadmissible to Canada under the Immigrations and Refugee Protection Act, ruled Rempel.

Sukhjinder Grewal, Gill’s lawyer, was not immediately available for comment.

When asked if Gill had been deported, the Canada Border Services Agency said it doesn’t speak to individual cases because of privacy laws.

“The decision to remove someone from Canada is not taken lightly,” the agency stated in an email. “The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act states that removal orders must be enforced as soon as possible. The CBSA is firmly committed to doing this.”

Babbar Khalsa has been linked to the 1985 Air India bombing that killed 331 people on two flights that originated in Vancouver, and the Canadian government added it to a list of banned terror groups in 2003.

Gill had argued there were several unconnected Babbar Khalsa groups that used the same name but claimed that the one he belonged to was unaffiliated with the Babbar Khalsa that is considered a terrorist organization.

His son, Navdej Singh Gill, testified at the admissibility hearing that his father did not work with any other Babbar Khalsa groups and never met with them.

A Canadian Security Intelligence Service report cited by Rempel states Babbar Khalsa was created in 1978, and Talwinder Singh Parmar, the alleged mastermind of the Air India plot,  established the Canadian arm in 1979.

The report also treats Babbar Khalsa and Babbar Khalsa International as the same entity and “provides little if any reason to distinguish the two or any factions.”

“BK/BKI chapters around the world seem to have operated mostly in co-operation with each other under the same name and banner, sharing the same religious conservatism and more importantly the same ultimate political objective,” wrote Rempel.

“There is sufficient evidence before me to establish reasonable grounds that the BK/BKI is a distinct organization, although loosely structured.”

The ruling states Gill became a member of the group in 1978 but left after moving to Canada in 1982 “because he did not agree with Talwinder Singh Parmar.”

Parmar, who was killed by police in India in 1992, was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Air India bombing trial and was considered the mastermind of the plot.

Ajaib Singh Bagri and Ripudaman Singh Malik were later acquitted in the twin bombings by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in 2005.

Gill became a permanent resident of Canada in 1982 but the ruling states he surrendered the status in 1984.

He was stopped by border officials at Vancouver International Airport in November 2013 and ordered to appear before the Immigration and Refuge Board.

Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Gill can apply to Federal Court for a judicial review of the decision.


Tags: , ,





Featured

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 3.45.37 PM

Large fire at Port of Vancouver (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver firefighters and haz-mat crews are battling a large fire at Vancouver’s port on Burrard Inlet that began Wednesday afternoon. The fire was…
Continue Reading »

immigrants-work-study-bc-career

Canada-wide initiative helps immigrants find work in fields for which they have prepared

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI When Manbir Randhawa immigrated from India to B.C., she knew she’d have to “start from scratch” in order to land a…
Continue Reading »

Desi-weird news

Doctor’s afraid to release baby who ‘spontaneously combusted’ to his mom

VANCOUVER DESI Doctors in India are reluctant to release a baby who ‘spontaneously combusted’ to his mom, fearing she suffers from an attention-seeking syndrome, Britain’s…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 3.45.37 PM

Large fire at Port of Vancouver (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver firefighters and haz-mat crews are battling a large fire at Vancouver’s port on Burrard Inlet that began Wednesday afternoon. The fire was…
Continue Reading »

immigrants-work-study-bc-career

Canada-wide initiative helps immigrants find work in fields for which they have prepared

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI When Manbir Randhawa immigrated from India to B.C., she knew she’d have to “start from scratch” in order to land a…
Continue Reading »

Environment-Surrey-students

Surrey students grow ‘green mindedness’ at school

SARAH ORLINA SURREY NOW SURREY — On a cloudy Thursday morning, three Grade 7 students are roaming the hallways of Royal Heights Elementary school in…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Rebellious matrimonial goes viral

“Definitely not bahu material”: Indian woman’s rebellious matrimonial ad goes viral (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI When 24-year-old Indhuja Pillai’s parents put her profile on a regular matrimonial website, she couldn’t take it down soon enough. “I am no…
Continue Reading »

brutal DELHI gang rape

“What is there in spreading the views of a rapist?” India orders TV stations not to broadcast rape documentary

ASHOK SHARMA THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI — Indian authorities ordered television stations Tuesday not to broadcast a documentary about a gang rape on a…
Continue Reading »

Immigrant-language test

‘You are an outsider’: Community rallies around Canadian convenience store owners beaten by customer

THE CANADIAN PRESS BEAUSEJOUR, Man. — Owners of a convenience store in Manitoba who were beaten by a customer are seeing an outpouring of support….
Continue Reading »

Hands Against Racism

Hands Against Racism: Send us a selfie and make a statement against racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver Desi’s digital anti-racism campaign, Raise Your Hands Against Racism, officially kicked off Thursday, with people across the Lower Mainland sending in selfies…
Continue Reading »

bully

Video of Sikh boy being bullied, called ‘terrorist’ on school bus goes viral (w/ video)

VANCOUVER DESI A video of a young Sikh student in the U.S. being bullied and called a “terrorist” by a group of children on a…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood photos

Gallery: Aishwarya Rai’s stunning photoshoot for Vogue

VANCOUVER DESI The world’s most beautiful woman, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan may have stepped away from the silver screen for a while but she says, “Comeback?…
Continue Reading »

Instagram photo

Gallery: Bollywood celebrity shots this week

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood’s growing love for selfies is self evident. More and more celebrity photos are showing up on Twitter and Instagram than ever before….
Continue Reading »

Mallika Sherawat

Indian court lifts stay on release of controversial Bollywood film ‘Dirty Politics’

IANS Patna – A day after it stayed the release of Bollywood film “Dirty Politics” in cinema halls, the Patna High Court Wednesday lifted the…
Continue Reading »