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Terry Glavin on his personal experiences with Khalistan terrorism

MarkOttawa

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A superb piece, Mr Glavin knows his stuff:

A short history of Canada and Khalistani terror

Every now and then, a story will erupt out of nowhere that brings up horrible things we’ve all forgotten. The case of the former terrorist and convicted would-be assassin Jaspal Atwal showing up out of the blue on Team Trudeau invitation lists in India a couple of weeks ago is a story like that. For me, it’s a bit personal.

Back in the 1980s, Jaspal Atwal was one of the nastier characters in the Sikh separatist Khalistan movement, which at the time was bullying and intimidating the Sikhs at their gurudwaras in Surrey, Vancouver and New Westminster. Atwal first came to my attention from conversations during visits with my friend Tara Singh Hayer. He was the editor of the Indo-Canadian Times in Surrey, and he’d developed a habit of bravely talking back to the Khalistanis.

In 1986, Atwal was arrested with three accomplices on a Vancouver Island backroad after firing two bullets into Punjab cabinet minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu, who was visiting family in Tahsis. Atwal had shadowed the car Sidhu was travelling in, all the way from the Sikh Temple Sukhsagar in New Westminster, where Sidhu had been celebrating the wedding of a nephew. It’s not just that the Sikh Temple Sukhsagar happened to be right out my kitchen window, or that I’d ended up covering Atwal’s trial for the Vancouver Sun.

Atwal was a member of the terrorist-listed International Sikh Youth Federation, and it just so happened that its leader, Amrik Singh, had insisted on acting as my interpreter two years before the Sidhu ambush, while I was interviewing various Khalistani holy warriors in Amritsar, Punjab. At the time, Khalistani militias, most notably Babbar Khalsa, had transformed Amritsar’s Golden Temple Complex, the Sikh Vatican, into a heavily fortified barracks, arms depot and terrorist command centre. But that’s not the half of it.

On June 21, 1985, I said goodbye to my Uncle Phil and my cousins in the town of Midleton, County Cork. Two days later, in London, the television news was suddenly awash with the horror of the Kanishka, a Boeing 747 passenger plane, Air India Flight 182 out of Toronto, bound for New Delhi. It had fallen into the sea in pieces off the Irish coast, west of Cork Harbour, out towards the Sheep’s Head Peninsula. There had been 329 people on board, almost all of them Canadians, mostly from the Toronto area. More than 80 were children. Six were babies.

I’d happened to be a passenger on that very airplane only the year before, and straight away it occurred to me that I almost certainly knew exactly who had murdered all those people [emphasis added]. As things were to turn out, I was right, and that’s the horrible, still-beating heart of the Air India tragedy: There was nothing exceptional about what I knew. You didn’t need to be an agent with the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service or the Research and Analysis Wing of India’s foreign intelligence service to be confidently certain about who had committed the Air India atrocity.

For years, Khalistani militants had been mobilizing and fundraising from the safe haven Canadian authorities had been providing them, thanks to a succession of politicians who had reckoned selfishly and wrongly that they’d be treading on the toes of Sikh voters if they did anything much about it...

The B.C. Supreme Court and a later federal judicial inquiry found that Parmar was the mastermind of the Air India operation. Inderjit Singh Reyat, the bomb maker, was the only person convicted. Released two years ago after serving a 30-year sentence, Reyat never gave up his several accomplices, and he’s never expressed remorse.

They came for my friend Tara Singh Hayer in August 1988. He was shot and crippled and ended up confined to a wheelchair. Only the triggerman in that operation, Harkirat Singh Bagga, was convicted, after pleading guilty. They came for Hayer again in 1998, and killed him. His killers remain at large. After surviving Atwal’s 1986 assassination attempt, Malkiat Singh Sidhu was murdered at his home in India in 1991.

Everyone I interviewed in Amritsar in April and May, 1984, was killed during Operation Bluestar [emphasis added]. So was my interpreter, Atwal’s idol, Amrik Singh. After his jail time, Atwal went on to become a prominent figure in Liberal party circles in Surrey...
http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/glavin-a-short-history-of-canada-and-khalistani-terror

All federal and B.C. politicians (and many others) should read the whole piece.  One wonders how many will.

Mark
Ottawa

 

Journeyman

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MarkOttawa said:
All federal and B.C. politicians (and many others) should read the whole piece.  One wonders how many will.
I'm guessing four -- the Canadian-Sikh members, but only to see what's being said about them.

I personally doubt that, even now, Trudeau has the faintest idea why his participating in the Khalsa Day parade was such a dumb move. (Hint JT, a key aspect is celebrating Talwinder Singh Parmar -- and his role in one of the biggest mass murders of Canadian citizens).

    :not-again:
 

Old Sweat

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Journeyman said:
I'm guessing four -- the Canadian-Sikh members, but only to see what's being said about them.

I personally doubt that, even now, Trudeau has the faintest idea why his participating in the Khalsa Day parade was such a dumb move. (Hint JT, a key aspect is celebrating Talwinder Singh Parmar -- and his role in one of the biggest mass murders of Canadian citizens).

    :not-again:

Ask yourself which faction gets to vote in Canadian elections.  :sarcasm:
 

The Bread Guy

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Closest fit I could find for this update ...
Mass lobbying effort launched to convince Goodale to remove mention of Sikh terrorism
by The Canadian Press
Posted Mar 28, 2019 2:59 pm EDT


A Canadian group advocating for an independent Sikh state in India says the federal government has put all Sikh Canadians in jeopardy by listing Sikh extremism as one of five major terrorist threats in this country.

Sikhs for Justice is launching a mass mailing campaign to MPs through to the fall federal election that demands the Liberals rescind all mentions of Sikh terror groups in the 2018 report on threats in Canada.

There are half a million Canadians who identify as Sikh living a number of ridings, particularly in the Greater Toronto Area and suburban Vancouver, where the issue could play a role in the election results.

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the legal adviser to Sikhs for Justice, says the government has no evidence and can cite no incidents of Sikh extremism in Canada other than the 1985 bombing of an Air India flight.

In a letter sent this week to Public Safety Minister Goodale and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Pannun says the mention of Sikh extremism in the report coupled with the lack of government support for the right to push for a free Khalistan, sends the message the government thinks Khalistanis are terrorists.

Goodale said last year* his department would review the language used in the report to ensure it wasn’t equating entire religions with extremism.

* - More on that here from December 2018:  "Goodale vows to review terror threat descriptions after Liberal MP adds to outrage over report's talk of Sikh extremism"

A bit more from Sikh media on the issue:
Reference in Canadian Report Puts Sikhs Under Threat, SADA (Mann) Canada
sikhsiyasat.net, 20 Mar 2019

In a letter written to the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Canada unit of Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar (Mann) maintained that there was a growing fear among immigrant communities that the “2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada” is promoting hate against them, could be subject to an attack such as Christchurch NZ where 50 Muslims men, women and children were gun down by a white supremacist who claims to be racist against immigrants.

“The report could incite violence against immigrant communities”, SADA (M) Canada claimed.

“It has been two months since Min Ralph Goodale told a community delegation that they will review the report but nothing has been done. The poisonous “2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada” terms Sikhs (Khalistani) as extremists without factual backup”, said SADA (M) Canada East president Sukhminder Singh Hansra. “I must reiterate that the “2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada” is causing frightening concerns for the Sikhs in Canada”, he added.

“Since Min Goodale has been unsuccessful to share proof of Sikh extremism, meanwhile the report is spreading hate against Sikh and other communities which are wrongfully included in the report”, said he ...
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