A man killed in Winnipeg's Inkster Industrial area earlier this week was wanted by authorities in India, according to a specialized counter-terrorism law enforcement agency in India.
Officers were called to a home on Hazelton Drive in northwest Winnipeg around 10 a.m. Wednesday and found a man dead inside, police said Thursday.
They later identified the man as Sukhdool Singh Gill, 39, and said his family has been identified.
Police in India's Punjab state told CBC News Gill was an Indian citizen and had been accused of multiple crimes in India.
"According to our records, there are 18 cases against him," J Elanchezhian, senior superintendent of police in Moga district in the state of Punjab, told CBC in India. The interview was translated from Hindi to English.
Court records 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, also known as Sukha Duneke, appeared on a wanted list released via the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) this week by India's National Investigation Agency — a specialized counter-terrorism law enforcement agency.
Sukhdool Singh Gill appeared on a wanted list posted on X, formerly known as Twitter on Sept. 21, 2023. (NIA India/X)
Elanchezhian confirmed the man killed in Winnipeg is the same man on the wanted list.
Detectives in Winnipeg aren't revealing how Gill was killed and say an autopsy is pending. No arrests have been made in his death.
CBC News spoke to a person in the area where Gill was killed who said they heard 11 gunshots Wednesday morning, right before police discovered the man's body.
'Criminal, not a terrorist': police
The wanted list Gill's name appeared on included a total of 43 individuals the NIA said are associated with "terror-gangster networks."
Elanchezhian described Gill as "a criminal, not a terrorist," but said he "might be linked to some gangster activities or some associated gangster."
The senior superintendent of police said Gill was an Indian citizen who left the country in 2017, allegedly with an illegally obtained passport.
Gulneet Singh Khurana, former senior superintendent of police in the Punjab city of Moga, told CBC he investigated the passport case.
"Sukhdool Singh Gill has been in Canada for quite some time now," Khurana said in an interview in Hindi.
According to a Moga district police document filed in an Indian court, the alleged passport case stems from September 2017, but the report was only filed on June 24, 2022.
The report alleges Gill "illegally … managed to obtain an Indian passport … due to negligence of the police officials in reporting the criminal history of Sukhdool Singh Gill."
Two police officials from India are also accused in the case, the report says.
Strained Canada-India relations
Gill's death comes amid increased diplomatic tension between Canada and India over the killing of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar outside a temple in Surrey, B.C., on June 18.
Nijjar had been wanted by India for years and was accused by the Indian government of leading a militant separatist group.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there was "credible intelligence" linking agents of the Indian government to Nijjar's killing.
The Indian government then called Canada a "safe haven" for terrorists, extremists and anti-India activities.
On Thursday, India's visa application centre in Canada, BLS International Services Canada, suspended its visa services until further notice. The agency has physical locations across the country, including Winnipeg.
Global Affairs Canada had no comment on Gill's death.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada also declined to comment, citing privacy when CBC asked about him.
A forensics van was parked outside a home on Hazelton Drive Thursday. Police say Gill was found dead inside a home on this street Wednesday morning. (Trevor Brine/CBC)
Both RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service referred questions from CBC to Winnipeg police.
Gill had no criminal record in Manitoba, according to a search of provincial and Court of King's Bench records.