The house of a Sikh activist in Canada has been hit by gunfire, in the second such incident this month, reigniting fears of an apparent transnational campaign of violence and intimidation targeting Sikh separatists.
A construction crew found a bullet hole in a window of an unfinished house in the city Brampton, Ontario, on Monday, according to the the US-based group Sikhs for Justice.
Peel Regional police confirmed that one bullet hole had been found, and said they couldn’t rule out more shots had been fired at the house.
Constable Tyler Bell-Morena said no injuries were reported and that it was “too early” to link the shooting to Gosal’s role in the Khalistan movement, though the criminal investigations unit were aware of his activism.
The shooting came after Gosal announced that the pro-Khalistan movement would hold a rally outside the Indian consulate in Toronto on 17 February.
A global pressure campaign by India has done little to dampen activism in Canada, with groups organizing fresh rounds of symbolic referendums and rallies.
“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, i.e. our campaigning for the Khalistan Referendum,” Gosal said in a statement. “This firing [sic] has absolutely been orchestrated by the Indian spy network operating from Diplomatic Missions in Canada headed by the Indian High Commissioner Vema.”
Monday’s shooting marks the second time the house of a prominent activist has been targeted.
On 1 February, at least two people opened fire on the house of Simranjeet Singh in the British Columbia city of Surrey. According to the British Columbia Gurdwaras Council, Singh was a close associate of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Despite multiple members of Singh’s being home at the time, no one was injured.
The shooting came days after Singh helped organize a pro-Khalistan protest at the Indian consulate in Vancouver. Last week, police arrested two 16-year-olds in relation to the shooting.