Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun’s aide Inderjit Singh Gosal home in Canada came under gunfire, police said on February 12, 2024, following recent allegations by Ottawa and Washington that Indian dissidents living abroad in both countries have been targeted for assassinations. Gosal was the close associate of prominent Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
According to a Canadian media agency, Constable Tyler Bell-Morena said the Peel Regional Police were alerted by construction crews about what happened to be a bullet hole in a window of the home of Gosal in the province of Ontario, and are investigating.
Pannun, an American Sikh activist in New York whom US authorities say was the target of a thwarted assassination plot in the US in 2023, wrote on social media that the incident was a drive by shooting. According to reports, there were no injuries in the shooting as the Brampton, Ontario home is under construction and currently unoccupied.
“We understand who this person is and his affiliations, but it is too early for us to speculate that there is any connection to other violence and threats, the Canadian media agency quoted Morena as saying. “We are obviously investigating it with all avenues in mind,” he added.
In September 2023, the Canadian PM Justin Trudeau directly implicated New Delhi in the killing of another Sikh separatist called Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Following Trudeau’s public allegation and accusations, India vehemently denied th allegations, leading to a brief restriction on Canadian visas and the recall of Canadian diplomats. Canada also halted negotiations for a free trade agreement with India in response.
Washington took a more cautious approach regarding New Delhi’s potential involvement in the Pannun case stating that only an India government official was allegedly implicated in the planning. Recently, some unidentified individuals fired shots at the British Columbia residence of Simranjeet Singh, an associate of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Canadian media reported that two Canadian teenagers have been arrested for discharging a firearm, though police have not yet determined a motive. Both incidents involve radical Sikh separatists residing abroad and advocating for an independent state called Khalistan carved from the territory of India, especially the Punjab region, the northwestern Indian state where New Delhi suppressed an insurgency three decades ago.