By KIM BOLAN
“Because of my campaign for Sikh rights, it’s my belief that I have become a target of an Indian government campaign to label my human rights campaign as terrorist activities,” his letter said.
Over the weekend, The Times of India quoted a Punjab police intelligence report claiming Nijjar is wanted in a 2007 cinema bombing, is now the leader of a group called the Khalistan Terror Force and is running training camps for militants near Mission, B.C.
The report said India would be requesting Nijjar’s extradition.
The Canadian government has not responded to the allegations in the report. Nijjar told The Sun Monday it was all “garbage.”
He also told The Sun he was too busy with his plumbing business to be involved in politics.
However, in his letter to Trudeau, he says he is a political activist who has travelled to Geneva, Washington and New York to protest against the Indian government and to ask the United Nations to hold a referendum on Punjab independence.“Mr. Prime Minister, I want to bring it to your attention that the Indian government’s campaign to label me a terrorist started when I actively participated in a campaign to collect signatures on a complaint to the United Nations Human Rights Council,” the letter said.
“I am a Sikh nationalist who believes in and supports Sikhs’ right to self-determination and independence of Indian-occupied Punjab through a future referendum.”
Nijjar also claims that his family living in and visiting his home state of Punjab have been harassed by police because of his actions.
He said his father and brother were detained last year while visiting India and given a warning for him to curb his “anti-India campaign.”
Interpol has issued a warrant for Nijjar’s arrest based on information received from the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation.
Nijjar says in his letter that India “has blatantly abused its governmental authority” to place his name on the Interpol list without any justification.
And he wants Trudeau to intervene.
“I urge your administration to dispel the Indian government’s fabricated, baseless, fictitious and politically-motivated allegations against me,” Nijjar said.
He’s being assisted by New York lawyer Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who flew to B.C. to meet the father of two.
Pannun told The Sun Wednesday that he intends to file a complaint with Interpol about the warrant being issued with no underlying evidence.
“We will seek information from them, what are the underlying charges … and how they got investigated and what Interpol did on their part to verify it. It’s their responsibility to look into it,” Pannun said.
He said a similar Interpol warrant against a Sikh separatist in Portugal was recently withdrawn after a challenge.