Sikh separatist’s home in Canada hit by gunfire in second such incident this month

The house of a Sikh separatist in Brampton, Ontario, was hit by gunfire on Monday, in a second such incident this month.

Inderjit Singh Gosal is a proponent of the Khalistan movement which seeks to carve out an independent Sikh homeland in India.

The shooting occurred after Mr Gosal announced a rally outside the Indian consulate in Toronto, raising concerns about a transnational campaign of violence against Sikh separatists.

No injuries were reported, and police have not yet linked the shooting directly to Mr Gosal’s activism.

According to Sikhs for Justice, a US-based organisation, a construction crew discovered a bullet hole in the window of an unfinished house in Brampton, Ontario, on Monday. The house belongs to Mr Gosal.

“No amount of threats and violence can stop me from advocating for the liberation of Punjab from Indian occupation. I have been heading Khalistan freedom rallies in front of the Indian consulate and I have been targeted for the same very reason that Nijjar was assassinated by Indian agents, ie our campaigning for the Khalistan referendum,” Mr Gosal said in a statement, the Guardian reported.

“This firing [sic] has absolutely been orchestrated by the Indian spy network operating from diplomatic missions in Canada headed by the Indian High Commissioner [Sanjay] Verma.”

This incident comes after the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Vancouver, an act Canada attributed to the Indian government. India has vehemently denied the claim.

Mr Gosal reportedly works closely with Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who was recently the focus of a thwarted assassination plot in the US. Residing in Washington, Mr Pannun holds the position of chief legal counsel for the organisation Sikhs for Justice.

Constable Tyler Bell-Morena said Peel Regional Police were alerted by construction crews about what appeared to be “a bullet hole in a window of the home” of Mr Gosal in the province of Ontario, according to AFP.

The police have launched an investigation.

The incident on Monday marks the second occurrence of a Sikh activist’s residence coming under attack.

On 1 February, the home of Simranjeet Singh in Surrey, British Columbia, was targeted by at least two gunmen. The British Columbia Gurdwaras Council noted that Mr Singh was closely associated with Nijjar.

The attacks have heightened tensions between Canada and India.