Sikhs question PM Sunak after Abtar Singh Khanda’s mysterious death in UK, three days before Nijjar’s murder
LONDON: The UK Sikh Federation has called on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to come clean about the serious dangers Indian state agents pose to Sikh activists in the country
The calls have increased amid a judicial inquiry into the mysterious death of pro-Khalistan activist Avtar Singh Khanda, following planned and actual killings of Sikh activists in Canada and the United States.
Sikhs are asking Rishi Sunak questions after the sudden and mysterious death of 35-year-old Avtar Singh Khanda on June 15 this year in Birmingham, three days before Canadian Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar was killed on Canadian soil.
The guardian This week he published an investigation questioning the role of local police and revealed that the Indian state had kidnapped Khanda’s sister and mother in India days and hours before his sudden death and threatened him over the phone.
The Sikh Federation said: “It is now clear that West Midlands Police, which has taken special measures, failed to conduct a proper investigation into the death threats Avtar Singh Khanda received from serving Indian police officers and neglected to conduct interviews or trace his movements that led to his death. Avtar Singh Khanda released a video in April, exactly two months before he died, detailing the pressure put on him and the threats and harassment of his family in India by the Indian police over a four-day period. He specifically mentioned the direct threats and harassment of several members of his family by Rupinder Kaur Bhattti, the additional deputy commissioner of police in Ludhiana who was calling him in the UK. GCHQ will have a record of such calls and threats and must have informed British intelligence.
“The muddled and incomplete investigation by West Midlands Police shows that they had no basis to conclude that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Avtar Singh Khanda. The backlash from West Midlands Police and recent revelations from the US and Canada are raising serious questions about the senior coroner’s decision not to order an autopsy into the mysterious death of Avtar Singh Khanda. The senior coroner should not have simply relied on West Midlands Police’s investigation which was not formal,” it added.
“The incompetence of West Midlands Police is also very embarrassing for the Home Secretary and FCDO. In recent responses to more than 100 MPs who wrote to raise concerns on behalf of Sikh voters about the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar and the mysterious death of Avtar Singh Khanda, they said categorically that they were relying on the “thorough” investigation by West Midlands Police . .
“The situation calls for an inquiry into the mysterious death of Avtar Singh Khanda which will almost certainly require a judicial-led inquiry into his death. Only a judge-led inquiry will be able to examine the failures of the police, the coroner and the British secret services, especially on the back of the planned and actual killings of Sikh activists in Canada and the US,” the federation said.
The Sikh Federation said an Indian RAW intelligence officer, believed to be a former Indian police officer, was expelled from the UK in the summer at the request of British intelligence. This was before Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made allegations in the Canadian Parliament on September 18 and expelled the head of RAW to Canada.
He said: “What is not clear is what activities the Indian RAW intelligence officer or ex-police officer was carrying out in the UK for which he was deported in the summer and why India did not respond to a securitization move. they did with Canada. This was the punishment Indian authorities received for targeting Avtar Singh Khanda, the illegal activities of India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the UK and publishing a “hit list” of 20 Sikh activists living abroad, including up to seven from the UK on Indian TV in July. After Justin Trudeau’s revelations, British intelligence officers, no doubt fueled by relevant communications gathered by GCHQ, began telling journalists and others that foul play was involved in the mysterious death of Avtar Singh Khanda.
“However, it appears that Rishi Sunak and his ministers have silenced British intelligence as they have no political will to expose wrongdoing by Indian authorities against Sikh activists on UK soil. It is clear that Rishi Sunak and his ministers are far more interested in appeasing the Indian government to help with a trade deal by demonizing Sikh activists in the UK as extremists, although they have presented no evidence to support this.”
The Sikh Federation said India’s spy chief who was being directed by Modi was behind the assassination campaign.
He said: “There is growing speculation that the US indictment released last week citing the role of CC-1, co-defendant Nikhil Gupta was receiving direct instructions from Ajit Doval, India’s National Security Adviser who reports directly to Narendra Modi. The Five Eyes nations will know the identity of CC-1 and who it refers to. This may explain India’s reluctance to act despite pressure from the Canadian and US governments that has led to the expulsion of Indian RAW intelligence officers from the US, Canada and the UK in recent months. Over 350 Gurdwaras and Sikh organizations wrote an open letter to Rishi Sunak on 24 April 2023, raising many concerns about the ignoring of Sikhs and the demonization of Sikh activists in the UK to appease India. A follow-up letter was sent on 19 June 2023 after the mysterious death of Avtar Singh Khanda and the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
“Rishi Sunak has yet to answer the range of questions raised, including why as Prime Minister he went out of his way to meet Ajit Doval on February 4, 2023, but has not extended the same courtesy to the National Security Advisers from the US and Canada (close allies of Britain) who might be telling him to be careful who he meets and planning assassinations with Ajit Doval. Rishi Sunak showed his utter incompetence by completely avoiding the issue of the safety and security of Sikh activists in the UK at PMQs last week.”
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