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Torture & extra-judicial killings – Sikh groups seek prosecution of Sukhbir Badal in Canadian Courts

August 13, 2013 | By

Toronto, Canada (August 13, 2013): The Sikh rights groups in Canada are launching prosecution and arrest warrants of visiting Deputy Premier of the State of Punjab Sukhbir Badal for his culpability in the torture of the Canadian Citizens in India. The Deputy Premier Badal is scheduled to hold meetings with the Canadian officials and business leaders in the British Columbia and Ontario during his upcoming September visit.

Sikhs for Justice want criminal prosuction of Sukhbir Badal in Canada“Sikhs for Justice” (SFJ) a Canada based human rights group and “Canadian Sikh Coalition” (CSC), a non-governmental organization representing over 50 Sikh Gurdwaras and societies allege that as Deputy Premier of the State of Punjab, Badal commands a police force that has committed, ordered, incited and abetted extra judicial killings of several Canadian Citizens in India.

In the past several Canadians of Sikh descent were abducted, tortured and extra judicially killed by the Indian security forces for actively campaigning for the Sikh rights. It is the policy of security forces in the State of Punjab to suppress the voice of the Sikhs through extra judicial measures for the past several decades. Hundreds of thousands of Sikhs including several Canadians have fallen prey to security forces inhumane policy of muzzling the voices of Sikh rights.

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.

SFJ and CSC are seeking the prosecution and arrest warrants of Badal during his upcoming visit to Canada under the Criminal Code of Canada (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46) (Section 269.1) which provides that “every official, or every person acting at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of an official, who inflicts torture on any other person is guilty of an indictable offence”.

The Criminal Code of Canada section 7(3.7) grants extra territorial jurisdiction to Canadian Courts to prosecute any visiting foreigner on the charges of the torture of Canadian Citizens. This section provides that an offense of torture shall be deemed to have been committed in Canada if (a) the complainant is a Canadian citizen; or (b) the person who commits the act or omission is, after the commission thereof, present in Canada.

According to Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who practices human rights law in the United States, torture survivors and family members of Sikh citizens of Canada killed by security forces in Punjab, will file the criminal complaint with the Justices of Peace in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia asking for issuance of arrest warrants of visiting Deputy Premier Badal. This is the first ever attempt to hold Indian security forces responsible under the Canadian laws for the torture and custodial deaths of Sikh Citizens of Canada, added Pannun.

According to Moninder Singh Director, Canadian Sikh Coalition (CSC), Canadian Citizens were tortured and extra judicially killed by the security forces in Punjab and it is the legal duty and obligation of the Canadian Government to prosecute Deputy Premier Badal who heads these security forces. We will approach PM Harper to direct Attorney General to prosecute Badal during his upcoming visit, added Singh.

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