Chandigarh / Toronto
Capt. Amrinder Singh’s recent push for extradition of 10 Punjabi-Canadians, who are accused in drug smuggling in Punjab, has created ripples in Canada’s Punjabi community.
All the persons mentioned in the Capt’s list have been living in different cities of Canada and some of them are very prominent faces of the community. Capt’s new initiative on the issue has brought the topic to the centre-stage with every one once again guessing that those persons may face the music very soon.
Punjab chief minister’s office have written to the Centre Government of India giving the names of many people, such as Sarabjit Singh Sandhar, alias Nik, a resident of village Balioun in Samrala, who is now living in Vancouver, Ranjit Singh Aujla, a resident of village Muthada Kalan in Jalandhar district, Nirankar Singh Dhillon of village Apra Mandi in Jalandhar, Gursewak Singh Dhillon, Amarjit Singh Kooner, Lamer Singh Daleh, Pardeep Singh Dhaliwal, Amarinder Singh Chheena, Parminder Singh Deo and Ranjit Kaur Kahlon.
Ranjit Singh Aujla popularly known Dara Muthada has been roaming free despite his look out notice put up by the Central Bureau of India and he even appeared in a song video shoot by a very popular Punjabi singer recently.
The video was an instant hit and it got millions of views on you tube. When the video was released there was a buzz on social media and questions were raised saying that how come a person who is being chased by Indian authorities so hotly can be so bold to go public and boast of social status as a video model for the singer.
Writing letters Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday last has urged the Union Government of India to take up with Canada the extradition of 10 persons, all of Indian Punjab origin, who declared proclaimed offenders in drugs-related cases in the state and living in that country.
In separate letters to Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Amarinder said the extradition process in the cases had been pending for up to four years, scuttling the state government’s efforts to bring the accused to justice.
The Congress government in Punjab has scaled up its efforts for their extradition from Canada, but the efforts have been obstructed as the cases remain pending at various levels, he said.
According to an official spokesperson, the state government had decided to aggressively pursue the extradition of these suspects as their custodial interrogation was vital to establish the entire chain of the drug cartel in Punjab and to expose those allegedly patronising the trade.
Listing out details of these cases, the Punjab Chief Minister said Sarabjit Singh Sandhar, alias Nik, a resident of village Balioun in Samrala, now living in Vancouver, had been declared a proclaimed offender on October 19, 2013.
His extradition request had been sent to Canadian authorities and thereafter prepared afresh as per guidelines shared by them. The revised request was sent to the Home Ministry, which forwarded it to the External Affairs Ministry on July 20, 2017.
The same is the status in another case, involving Ranjit Singh Aujla, a resident of village Muthada Kalan in Jalandhar district, in which the extradition request is pending since July 25, 2017. He was declared a proclaimed offender in August 2013.
In the case of Nirankar Singh Dhillon of village Apra Mandi in Jalandhar, who was declared a proclaimed offender in October 2013, and is currently reported to be living in Lietkencher Circle Brampton, Canada, the extradition request is pending since September 19, 2017, Amarinder said, citing police data.
The extradition request for Gursewak Singh Dhillon, who was declared a proclaimed offender in April 2014, was sent to the External Affairs Ministry by the Home Ministry on July 20, 2017, but there has been no movement since then.
The chief minister in his letter cited similar cases of Amarjit Singh Kooner, Lamer Singh Daleh, Pardeep Singh Dhaliwal, Amarinder Singh Chheena, Parminder Singh Deo and Ranjit Kaur Kahlon. — PTI
The state government is aggressively pursuing the extradition of these suspects as their custodial interrogation is important to reveal the drug cartel and its patrons in the state, a spokesperson was reported as saying.
The Congress government won the elections in February 2017 on their hard stand against the drug problem in the state.
A study conducted by the department of psychiatry at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, found that one in six Punjabis are addicted to substance abuse.