Sikh groups want Punjab deputy chief minister arrested in Canada
The Sikh Activist Network has declared on its website that there will be an attempt to bring charges against a politician from India when he visits Canada next month.
It has highlighted a statement by two Sikh groups alleging that Sukhbir Badal, deputy chief minister of Punjab, has played a role in the disappearance, abduction and torture of Canadians in the northwestern Indian state.
Badal, president of the Akali Dal political party, has not been convicted of these crimes in any court.
His father Parkash is the chief minister of Punjab, which is home to more than 27 million people, of which almost two-thirds are Sikh.
Sikhs for Justice and the Canadian Sikh Coalition are seeking the prosecution and an arrest warrant against Badal, citing the Criminal Code prohibition on torture.
It applies to "every official or every person acting at the instigation of or with the consent of an official, who inflicts torture on any other person". The law applies to visitors from other countries when they step on Canadian soil.
"The Canadian Sikhs who were tortured and extra judicially killed by security forces in India include Harjinder Singh, Surinder Singh, Kulwinder Singh, Mohinder Singh and Surinder Singh Ravi from Ontario, Bhupinder Singh from BC, Davinder Singh from Quebec and Balbir Singh from Alberta," Sikhs for Justice and the Canadian Sikh Coalition said in a statement on the Sikh Activist Network website.
In the past, Sikhs for Justice have accused Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan of inciting the killing of Sikhs in 1984 following the assassination of then-prime minister Indira Gandhi.
The Canadian Sikh Coalition supports the creation of an independent country for Sikhs called Khalistan, which would be carved out of northwestern India.
In a statement issued in late June, the Canadian Sikh Coalition condemned India's governing Congress Party for selecting a Sikh, Manmohan Singh, as prime minister.
"Using the Sikh image and parading a puppet Prime Minister at the forefront of the Congress Party is a tactic that has been deployed by various governments in history who have wished to destroy the culture, language and heritage of the people whose territory they occupy," it declared.