Canada’s Nexus: Guns, Gangs, and Sikh Separatism

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New Delhi (Reuters) – September 23, 2023: The recent killing of Sukha Deneka, a pro-Khalistan gangster, in Canada claimed by the Lawrence Bishnoi gang has brought the spotlight back onto the deep-seated connections between Indo-Canadian gangsters and Sikh separatists. Despite the strained India-Canada relations, social media continues to glorify these elements, sparking concerns over their influence and impact. Here’s an in-depth look at this evolving issue.

Canada, a Safe Haven? Shortly after the assassination of Harpreet Singh Nijjar, chief of the Khalistan Tiger Force, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused Indian agents of involvement in the killing. In response, India labeled Canada as a “safe haven for terrorists, extremists, and organized crime.” The Punjab Police initiated raids against associates of Goldy Brar, a key figure with ties to Canada, while the National Investigation Agency (NIA) announced cash rewards for Babbar Khalsa operatives.

The Nexus Unveiled Canada-based gangsters of Indian origin, such as Goldy Brar and Arsh Dalla, who initially entered the criminal world through extortion and assault in India, have found refuge in Canada as cases against them mounted. Some have openly embraced separatist ideologies, forming a perilous nexus with Sikh extremists.

Goldy Brar’s Shadow Goldy Brar, suspected to be operating from Canada, recruits gang members, orchestrates extortion rackets, and allegedly sanctions hits, including one against Sidhu Moose Wala. Brar remains a fugitive, with his current location undisclosed.

Arsh Dalla’s Tale Arsh Dalla, associated with the Khalistan Tiger Force, moved to Canada in 2018 and has been linked to weapons smuggling, drug trafficking, and assassinations in India.

The Rival Gang Connection The killing of Sukha Duneke, said to be connected to the rival Davinder Bambiha gang, in Canada recently has underscored the tensions within the criminal underworld. Duneke had fled to Canada in 2017 using a forged passport, allegedly prompting Lawrence Bishnoi’s involvement.

Expanding Web of Influence Besides Brar and Dalla, Prince Chauhan, an associate of jailed gangster Kala Rana, runs his gang from Canada. Ramandeep Singh alias Raman Judge, accused of terrorist activities in Punjab, also operates from Canadian soil. Lakhbir Singh Sandhu alias Landa, closely linked to Babbar Khalsa International, fled to Canada in 2017.

Historical Roots The nexus between Indian fugitives and Sikh extremists in Canada dates back to the 1970s when gun and gang culture among the Sikh diaspora grew alongside the influx of Sikhs following Operation Blue Star.

Funding and Radicalization Funds for these criminal enterprises often originate from pro-Khalistan leaders and sympathizers, with some Gurudwaras in Canada serving as platforms for separatist voices.

Gurpatwant Singh Pannu Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, believed to be residing in Hamilton, Canada, tops the list of Canada-based separatist elements. As the ‘general counsel’ of Sikhs for Justice, he has called on Punjab-based gangsters to target Army officers and even offered rewards.

Concerns Persist The ongoing nexus between organized crime and Sikh extremism in Canada remains a growing concern, with implications for both Indian and Canadian authorities. Addressing this issue will require international cooperation and concerted efforts to curb the influence of these elements.


  • Recent killing of pro-Khalistan gangster Sukha Deneka by the Lawrence Bishnoi gang in Canada sheds light on the enduring nexus between Indo-Canadian gangsters and Sikh separatists.
  • Tensions rise as Canada is accused of harboring terrorists and India is criticized for its role in the killing of Harpreet Singh Nijjar.
  • Key figures like Goldy Brar and Arsh Dalla operate from Canada, embracing criminal activities and separatist ideologies.
  • Historical roots trace back to the 1970s and have expanded over time, raising concerns over funding and radicalization.
  • Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, residing in Canada, tops the list of separatist elements.
  • Ongoing concerns prompt the need for international cooperation to combat this issue effectively.
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