Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun’s aide Inderjit Singh Gosal’s Canada home allegedly came under gunfire, police said on Monday, following recent allegations by Ottawa and Washington that Indian dissidents living abroad in both countries have been targeted for assassination.
According to AFP, 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 Gosal in the province of Ontario, and are investigating.
Pannun, an American Sikh activist in New York whom US authorities say was the target of a thwarted assassination plot in the US last year, wrote on social media that the incident was a “drive-by shooting.”
According to reports, there were no injuries in the shooting as the Brampton, Ontario, home is under construction and currently unoccupied.
“We understand who this person is and his affiliations, but it’s just too early for us to speculate that there’s any connection to other violence and threats,” AFP quoted Bell-Morena as saying.
“We are obviously investigating it with all avenues in mind,” he added.
In September, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau directly implicated New Delhi in the killing of another Sikh separatist, Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Following Trudeau’s public accusations, India vehemently denied the allegations, leading to a brief restriction on Canadian visas and the recall of Canadian diplomats.
Canada also halted negotiations for a free-trade agreement with India in response.
Washington took a more cautious approach regarding New Delhi’s potential involvement in the Pannun case, stating only that an Indian government official was allegedly implicated in the planning.
Recently, unidentified individuals fired shots at the British Columbia residence of Simranjeet Singh, an associate of Nijjar. Canadian media reported that two Canadian teenagers have been arrested for discharging a firearm, though police have not yet determined a motive.
Both incidents involve radical Sikh separatists residing abroad and advocating for an independent state called Khalistan in Punjab, the northern Indian state where New Delhi suppressed an insurgency three decades ago.
With inputs from agencies