His name was among 43 of NIA’s most-wanted terrorists
New Delhi: One of India’s most wanted gangsters, Sukhdul Singh, alias Sukha Duneke from Punjab, was killed in Winnipeg, Canada, on Wednesday night in what is believed to be due to an inter-gang rivalry.
His killing came hours after Duneke's name figured in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) most wanted list of 43 linked to the terror gang network with their connections in Canada. Duneke, who had more than 18 cases against him, including murder and robbery in India, was believed to be in Canada after he fled India in 2017 on forged documents. It is learned that Indian agencies have prepared dossiers on Khalistani elements residing in the US and Canada, which will be handed over to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to be given to these countries for repatriation of these elements under bilateral agreements.
It is not clear who is behind Duneke's killing, but names of two gangs are circulating on various social media platforms.
Duneke's killing comes at a time when India-Canada diplomatic relations are at a low point after the killing of Khalistani separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia in June. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has alleged the "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Nijjar, even though the Canadian authorities have not provided any evidence to support his claim.
"Safe haven is being provided in Canada. We want the Canadian government not to do so and take action against those with terrorism charges or send them here to face justice... We've sought either extradition requests or assistance related to that, at least more than 20-25 individuals we've requested over the years, but the response has not been helpful at all," said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi. He added that Canada's reputation is growing as a safe haven for terrorists, extremists, and organised crime. "And I think that's a country that needs to worry about its international reputation," he added.
The Khalistani elements have in the past few days threatened Hindus in Canada, asking them to leave the country, and called for a referendum against the Indian High Commissioner in Ottawa, accusing him of being involved in the killing of Nijjar. The Hindu community in Canada has written to the Trudeau government, urging it to recognise these threats as hate crimes. "We anticipate that Canadian authorities will take decisive action to address this matter... as it concerns the safety and security of Canadian citizens," said the Hindu Forum in Canada.
Hailing from Duneke Kalan village in Punjab's Moga district, the gangster was an active member of the Davinder Bambiha gang and closely associated with Canada-based gangster-turned-terrorist Arsh Dalla, gangster Lucky Patial, Malaysia-based gangster Jackpal Singh, alias Lali, and other criminals. He was managing the activities of the gang from foreign soil and was also involved in running an extortion racket, targeted killings of rival gang members in Punjab and neighbouring areas through his local contacts, and managing the network of his foreign-based associates, the sources said.
In the last few months, the number of extortion calls made by Duneke had increased considerably in Punjab and neighbouring areas, they added. In January, two of Duneke's associates, Kulwinder Singh, alias Kinda, and Paramjeet Singh Pamma, were arrested by the counter-intelligence wing (Bathinda). These men were part of the extortion racket run by Duneke.
"The NIA has provided a list of 10 gangsters who run drug cartels in Punjab, and 8 of them are in Canada. They have been granted citizenship there, so the question arises, are they (Canada) our friends or enemies? The murder of Sidhu Moose Wala was allegedly planned by individuals based in Canada," said Congress MP Ravneet Singh.
Meanwhile, NIA on Thursday released pictures of 10 accused involved in attacking the Indian Consulate at USA's San Francisco in March. The NIA has sought information about them from the public. According to the NIA, the case was registered following an attack on the Indian Consulate in San Francisco during the intervening night of March 18 and 19 when some pro-Khalistani entities allegedly trespassed into the consulate and tried to burn it down. The same day, Khalistani supporters, raising slogans, had broken through the makeshift security barriers raised by the city police and put up two so-called Khalistani flags on the consulate premises, damaged the building and assaulted and injured the officials, the anti-terror agency said.