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Surrey shooting linked to Sikh temple president’s killing: Gurdwaras council

Sikh groups claim activist Simranjeet Singh targeted in Feb. 1 incident
Moninder Singh speaks at a press conference held Thursday night (Feb. 1) regarding a shooting in South Surrey. (Contributed photo)

Gunfire that left a South Surrey home riddled with bullet holes this week is raising concerns among B.C.’s Sikh community.

According to a statement released by the BC Gurdwaras Council, the incident Thursday (Feb. 1) morning in the Sunnyside neighbourhood targeted a close associate of the Sikh temple president who was shot and killed last year in Surrey.

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“Activist Simranjeet Singh saw his home sprayed with bullets in an incident on (Thursday) in Surrey believed to be linked to his advocacy and community role for Khalistan (free Sikh homeland movement) and India’s ongoing targeting of Canadian Sikhs,” a Sikh Press Association news release issued Friday (Feb. 2) states.

No injuries were reported from the incident, which took place near 28 Avenue and 154 Street.

According to BCGC spokesperson Jasveer Singh, Simranjeet Singh was a close associate of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the Sikh temple president who was gunned down in the parking lot of Surrey’s Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in June 2022. Following his murder, the Canadian government said that they had credible evidence that suggested a link between India and the killing.

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RCMP in Surrey, B.C., said the incident happened on Thursday at 1:21 a.m. when an unknown assailant fired multiple shots at the home in the 2800 block of 154 Street.

“Investigators believe this was an isolated incident and we are working to determine the motive,” Surrey RCMP media officer Sgt. Tammy Lobb said in a statement.

Nijjar’s death and the subsequent “targeting” of Simranjeet, according to community figures, has left Sikh residents feeling unsafe.

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun of the group Sikhs For Justice said Sikh communities were frustrated Canadian authorities weren’t doing more to warn or protect people.

“What exactly are pro-Khalistan Sikhs supposed to do?” said Pannun, referring to the proposed Sikh homeland in India. “Go under a bunker? Disappear from the face of the earth? Then why do we have a government?

“If you are going to force the pro-Khalistan Sikhs and the community to the corner, they are going to take it upon themselves to defend themselves and their family.”

India’s High Commission in Ottawa did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Indian government has previously denied involvement in Nijjar’s death, calling the allegations “absurd.”

Leadership groups, including the World Sikh Organization, BC Gurdwaras Council and Ontario Gurdwaras Committee, have jointly applied to be involved in a public inquiry that is underway regarding foreign interference in Canada.

“Diaspora groups from Ukrainian, Russian and Chinese communities have been rightfully included in the inquiry, and with India now included in the mandate, the absence of Sikh voices would be unacceptable,” states a release from the three Sikh groups.

Simranjeet is not speaking to reporters at this time, Jasveer told Black Press Media.

— with a file from Canadian Press

Sobia Moman

About the Author: Sobia Moman

Sobia Moman is a news and features reporter with the Peace Arch News.
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