Spotlight on gang wars in Canada after Sukha Duneke's killing

Canada had put Goldy Brar on the most wanted list in May saying risk to public safety

Bishnoi-Brar Lawrence Bishnoi and Goldy Brar

The diplomatic row between India and Canada has led to spiralling tensions between various Khalistani gangs operating on Canadian soil who are settling scores of long-drawn battles spilling from tiny lanes of Punjab to streets of Winnipeg which saw bullets shot at Sukhdool Singh alias Sukha Duneke on Thursday. 

Late Thursday night, the Homicide Unit of Winnipeg police identified the victim as 39-year-old Sukhdool Singh GILL, saying notifications to family members were made. The investigation is ongoing, it said.

The Lawrence Bishnoi gang with trans-national links to Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar allegedly claimed responsibility with a social media post saying, "He had to pay for his sins. One can run across the globe to hide but ultimately have to pay for our deeds."

Bishnoi is lodged in a jail in Gujarat but his criminal influence spreads far beyond to Canadian soil.

The Lawrence Bishnoi gang members are allegedly working alongside his close aide in Canada, Goldy Brar, who came under the scanner of Canadian police after he was accused of masterminding the Sidhu Moosewala killing. There is a lookout circular and Red Corner Notice against him which prompted Ottawa to put him on it’s wanted list. Brar was termed as a risk to public safety by Canadian police in May which took cognisance of New Delhi’s inputs that he was hiding in Canada. He is currently under investigation but is not charged with any criminal offence in Canada, the authorities in Canada had said. 

The latest killing adds to the concern about intergang rivalries which have seen bloodshed in the past making Bishnoi - Brar gang a potent force. The social media post by the Bishnoi gang members is being investigated by Indian security agencies. 

After the latest killing, what is fast becoming a matter of worry is the danger of gang wars by the pro-Khalistani groups that threaten to turn ugly in the coming days and months. Indian security agencies have flagged the concern of gang wars within the criminal-terrorist nexus operating out of Canadian soil in the past, but the fresh incident is likely to come as a wake-up call for authorities who have not admitted the evidence against them as credible so far. 

Back home in Punjab, it is known that Sukhdool belonged to Davinder Bambiha gang from Moga district who had conspired to kill kabaddi player Sandeep Singh Nangal last year. Sukhdul has been involved in cases of murder and extortion in Punjab and a lookout circular and red corner notice had been initiated against him. Punjab police sources said he was close to Arshdeep Dalla who was involved in targeted killings at the behest of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, shot dead in Surrey in June. 

Nijjar, the self-styled chief of Khalistan Tiger Force, a proscribed terrorist organization under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act was accused of being hand in glove with Pakistan-based pro-Khalistani terrorists. 

The Bambiha gang did not see eye to eye with the Bishnoi- Brar gang, the dreaded gangster-terrorist nexus whose members were arrested for carrying out the rocket-propelled grenade attack on the intelligence headquarters of Punjab police in Mohali last year.

Brar is said to be working closely with another Khalistani operative Harjot in the United States, according to Punjab police records. One of the arrested accused in the Mohali RPG attack told police that Bishnoi was introduced to Pakistan-based Harwinder Rinda in 2017 after which they stepped up attacks and extortion activities in Punjab. However, it is learnt that a rift took place between Brar and Harjot later and shooters teams were split in loyalties.

The recent killing of Nijjar is no different. Indian investigators said he had developed a rivalry with Ripudaman Singh Malik, one of the main accused in the 1985 Air India (Kanishka bombing case) arrested by the Canadian police but acquitted by the Canadian court in 2005. Malik was allegedly associated with the Babbar Khalsa terror outfit responsible for many terrorist incidents in Punjab and was shot dead in Canada last year.

Security officials said Malik was toning down his anti-India rhetoric when he came on the hit list of his rivals before he was murdered in Surrey in 2022. The shootings have continued since and gang wars continue to spill blood. 

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