A Sikh activist’s residence in Canada was targeted by gunfire, marking the second instance this month. This has sparked concern over a possible international effort to use violence and threats to intimidate Sikh separatists.
According to Sikhs for Justice, on Monday, a construction team discovered a bullet hole in a window of an incomplete house located in Brampton, Ontario.
The ownership of the property is held by Inderjit Singh Gosal, a vocal advocate for the creation of a separate Sikh state called Khalistan, which has been a marginal demand for decades.
The Peel Regional police verified the presence of a single bullet hole and acknowledged the possibility of additional shots being fired at the residence.
Officer Tyler Bell-Morena stated that there were no reported injuries and it was too soon to connect the shooting to Gosal’s involvement in the Khalistan movement. However, the criminal investigations unit was aware of his activism.
The shooting occurred following Gosal’s announcement of a planned pro-Khalistan rally outside the Indian consulate in Toronto on February 17.
Gosal collaborates closely with Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who was recently the intended victim of an unsuccessful assassination plot in the United States. Pannun, residing in Washington DC, holds the position of primary legal advisor for Sikhs for Justice.
The issue of Khalistan’s separation has gained significant focus in recent times following the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian activist who was shot and killed in a parking lot in a Vancouver suburb. Canada has accused the Indian government of involvement in the assassination, but India has denied these claims, leading to tension between the two nations.
Despite India’s efforts, the pressure campaign has not quelled activism in Canada. Several groups are still planning symbolic referendums and rallies.
“No amount of threats and violence can stop me from advocating for the liberation of Punjab from Indian occupation. I have been heading Khalistan Freedom Rallies in front of the Indian Consulate and I have been targeted for the same very reason that Nijjar was assassinated by Indian agents, i.e. our campaigning for the Khalistan Referendum,” Gosal said in a statement. “This firing [sic] has absolutely been orchestrated by the Indian spy network operating from Diplomatic Missions in Canada headed by the Indian High Commissioner Vema.”
The second incident of a prominent activist’s house being targeted occurred on Monday.
On February 1st, two individuals fired shots at Simranjeet Singh’s residence in Surrey, British Columbia. The British Columbia Gurdwaras Council stated that Singh was closely connected to Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Fortunately, although there were several occupants in the house at the time, no one was harmed.
After assisting in a demonstration for the independence of Khalistan at the Indian consulate in Vancouver, Singh was involved in a shooting days later. Two 16-year-olds were later apprehended by police in connection to the incident.