A man fatally shot in northwest Winnipeg last week was accused of extortion and sending money to gang associates in India, according to police documents in that country.
Sukhdool Singh Gill, who also went by the alias Sukha Duneke, was known as a notorious criminal in India for allegedly organizing hits on rival gang members there, according to Ajai Sahni, executive director of the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi.
"He has a network in Punjab which carries out hits for money or various other grounds," said Sahni, whose non-profit institute researches security issues in South Asia.
Those "other grounds" include hits on rival gang members, according to Sahni.
Gill was found fatally shot last Wednesday, after Winnipeg police were called to a home on Hazelton Drive, in the city's northwest, around 10 a.m. The homicide unit is investigating and no arrests have been made, Winnipeg police said.
Gill appeared on a wanted list released via the social media platform X last week by India's National Investigation Agency, a specialized law enforcement agency.
Police reports from India called first information reports, which CBC translated from Punjabi to English, suggest Gill was part of the Bambiha gang.
Police allege that while he was in Canada, Gill helped a gang in India with "snatchings and robberies," according to a report filed in November 2020, after police on patrol spoke to an informant whose information they called "concrete and trustworthy."
"He arranges for them money to buy weapons (arms, ammunition)" and "places to hide," according to the report.
"If they are followed and caught, a large quantity of illegal weapons … can be confiscated from them."
On Monday, a Winnipeg police forensics unit remained at the duplex on Hazelton Drive where Gill was found dead. (Josh Crabb/CBC)
Police in India's Moga district allege Gill left India in 2017 with a passport he obtained with the help of officers.
There are 18 criminal cases potentially linked to him. Court records in India show the status of nine of the cases as "not arrested" and "under investigation or under trial." Another five are recorded as acquittals, one case was quashed and there was one conviction.
Gill "has had a long-running feud with several other gangs … India- and Canada-based gangs," Sahni told CBC.
Gill is also named in a different police allegation in India that says he threatened a doctor and demanded payment of 10 lakh rupees, which is equivalent to about $16,000 Cdn.
The doctor, who had a son who was abroad, told police the call came from a person who identified himself as Sukha Duneke, and said, "if you do not give us 10 lakh rupees, then we will kill you and your family," according to the report.
"My entire family is terrified because of his threatening phone calls," the doctor told police.
Gill's file also contains a police report linking his name to the case of a fatal shooting of Sandeep Singh Sandhu, a British athlete, by four assailants in Punjab's Jalandhar district in March 2022.
Sahni said Gill's death is a sign gang activity in India is extending into Canada.
"Canada is already beginning to pay the price in terms of gangsters, the activity of Punjab-origin gangsters within Canada today," he said.
Need 'more constructive' relationship with India
Christian Leuprecht, a professor at the Royal Military College of Canada and Queen's University, said the Canadian government needs to take this kind of violence more seriously.
"What this suggests to me is we need to have more constructive relationships with India on these accusations," Leuprecht said.
"If India has concrete evidence it wants to provide, we have standard mechanisms which we [use to] deal with allies and partners on this," including mutual legal assistance treaties and notices through Interpol, he said.
Winnipeg police Const. Dani McKinnon said Tuesday Gill's killing hasn't been linked to gang activity, but that is an avenue investigators are exploring.
On Monday, officers with the forensic identification unit were at the Hazelton Drive home, which was still cordoned off with yellow police tape.
Holes can be seen on the exterior of a home on Hazelton Drive where Gill was found last Wednesday. No arrests have been made in his death, police say. (Trevor Brine/CBC)
Sammer Singh, who lives in the duplex unit next to the one where Gill was found dead, said he and three roommates were at home last Wednesday morning, when police arrived.
"We heard police break into our house … and they arrested us," Singh said. "We were sleeping in there and they grabbed us and they asked us questions, like 'did you guys hear gunshots?' We didn't hear anything."
McKinnon had no details on Singh's allegations that he and his roommates were arrested, but said people can be detained for safety reasons when officers encounter a situation such as the one on Hazelton.
Singh said he doesn't know his neighbours but saw luxury cars pulling up to the house.
He also said he left Surrey, B.C., two months ago to get away from crime, and now plans on moving elsewhere in Winnipeg.