SGPC fumes over UK’s visa denial to terrorist Avtar Khanda’s mother and sister, calls it human rights violation

SGPC fumes over UK's visa denial to terrorist Avtar Khanda's mother and sister, calls it human rights violation

On 30th July, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Raghbir Singh called out the United Kingdom for denying a visa to Khalistani terrorist Avtar Singh Khanda’s kin to attend his funeral scheduled for 5th August. Reportedly, Khanda’s mother, 65-year-old Charanjit Kaur, and sister, 32-year-old Jaspreet Kaur, had sought a visa to attend the funeral, but the UK embassy denied it.

Khanda was living in the UK under the guise of political asylum. He died on 15th June this year following a brief illness in the Sandwell Hospital in Birmingham.

Khanda was chief of the banned Khalistani organization Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF). He was also an associate of the banned Khalistani terrorist organization Sikhs For Justice (SFK) chief Gurpatwant Singh Pannu. He was under Indian intelligence agencies’ radar for his involvement in anti-India activities. He was the main handler of a pro-Khalistani preacher and chief of Waris Punjab De Amritpal Singh, who was arrested for his anti-India activities. Amritpal is currently lodged in an Assam prison. Khanda played a vital role in the formation of Waris Punjab De with Deep Sidhu. However, after Sidhu’s death, Khanda pushed Amritpal’s name to become the organization’s chief.

Initially, Khanda’s mother and sister sought permission from the Indian government to bring his body to India. However, they did not get any response from the Indian mission in the UK. Then they moved to Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking permission to bring Khanda’s body to India for his funeral at Moga, Punjab, where he was born. They also wanted to immerse his ashes in Kiratpur Sahib. However, they did not get any relief. Earlier, Amritpal Singh’s wife Kirandeep Kaur was also stopped at the Amritsar Airport as she tried to go to the UK to allegedly attend Khanda’s funeral.

SGPC came out in support of Khanda’s mother and sister

After the UK embassy denied their visa, Akal Takht Jathedar came out in their support and called the embassy’s action a ‘human rights violation’. In a video message, he said, “It is a matter of distress that they (Avtar Singh Khanda’s kin) have been denied a visa. This is a sheer violation of human rights,” said Takht Jathedar in a video statement. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) and other organisations should make efforts to take up the issue with the UK government and ensure that a visa is issued to his mother and sister.”

Shiromani Akali Dal urged the UK mission to issue a visa

Shiromani Akali Dal’s Delhi unit chief Paramjit Singh Sarna has also supported Khanda’s mother and sister. He has urged British High Commission in India to issue them visas to attend Khanda’s funeral citing universal human rights. He said, “We saw disturbing reports about Khanda’s family being denied UK visas. The British High Commission should honour the international covenant on human rights and let his family attend the rituals and service in the UK.”

UK police not looking into Khanda’s death

Earlier, West Midlands police confirmed that they were not investigating Khanda’s death and deemed it “suspicious”. Speaking to the Times of India, a police spokesperson said, “He [Avtar Singh Khanda] was in hospital when he died. It was not deemed to be suspicious at the hospital, and his death was referred to the coroner. The police were only even made aware of this because of allegations he was poisoned, but he was in hospital for a reason — and that was not poisoning. Our involvement was only because of these allegations. His death is not deemed to be suspicious.”

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