India Makes Fresh Extradition Request to Canada for 8 NRIs Wanted in Drug Case
Canada has reportedly been making technical objections to India's requests of extradition to delay the process.
India has once again approached Canada over extradition of “fugitives” who are named in a drug and multi-crore money laundering case along with former Punjab Police officer Jagdish Singh Bhola, the Times of India reported.
A detailed affidavit submitted by Assistant Solicitor General Chetan Mittal on May 23 before the Punjab and Haryana High Court stated that Canadian agencies have rejected the Indian government’s request, made in 2016, to extradite eight NRIs linked to the case. A fresh request has been sent to Canada’s Department of Justice, it added.
The problem lies with Canada, as Indian authorities have been making the request as per the process described by the Canadian authorities, Mittal told the publication. He added that the Canada was making technical objections to requests each time “to stall the extradition” of the NRIs.
India is seeking the extradition of eight NRIs — Ranjit Singh Aujla, Gursewak Singh Dhillon, Nirankar Singh Dhillon, Sarabjit Singh Sander, Lehmbar Singh Daleh, Amarjit Singh Kooner, Pardeep Singh Dhaliwal and Amarinder Singh Chheena — since 2016, according to the affidavit submitted through Rajeev Ranjan, undersecretary (extradition), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Citing various discrepancies in the documents submitted by the Indian authorities, the Canadian agencies have been rejecting the extradition requests despite several efforts made by the Punjab Police and the Indian government, the report said.
During Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to India earlier this year, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had handed over a list of 11 Canada-based NRIs, allegedly involved in the drug trade in Punjab. Trudeau was also given a list of nine category-A operatives said to be involved in financing and supplying weapons for terror activities in India.
Earlier this month, the Indian National Intelligence Agency (NIA) registered an FIR against Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canada-based alleged Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) militant accused of multiple targeted killings. In April, Canadian law authorities took Nijjar into custody and then released him 24 hours later. No charges were filed against him. Nijjar’s name featured in the list that was given by Singh to Trudeau.
The NIA will attempt for the extradition of Nijjar, who is currently living in Surrey, as per an earlier Indian Express report.