Former Indian Cop Turned Back From Vancouver Airport Over India’s Systematic “Police Human Rights Abuses”

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Desibuzzbc-Banner-Metrics-FinalIndian Cop Turned BackTejinder Singh Dhillon, who retired as CRPF police inspector general of police in 2010, was denied entry at Vancouver airport as he had served with the Force, which had “committed widespread and systemic human rights abuses’. India has been accused of gross human rights violations by a number of International Human Rights groups and Sikh groups have accused the former Congress government of Genocide in the killing of thousands of Sikhs in Delhi in 1984. While Dhillon is upset, this is nothing new as many Indian armed forces officers and Punjab Police personnel have been denied visas by Canada in the past on the grounds of rights violations. For it's part, India has even denied visa to a sitting Sikh politician who has been critical of India. This could be tit-for-tat as India denied visa to rising Sikh-Canadian political star Jagmeet Singh, who is an NDP MPP and Deputy Leader in Ontario.

Brand-D-Media-Box-ADOTTAWA – Canadian immigration authorities turned back a former Indian cop over allegations of India's human rights abuses.

Tejinder Singh Dhillon, a retired senior Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officer was denied entry at Vancouver airport, partly because immigration authorities deemed him to have served a government that engages in “terrorism, systematic or gross human rights violations, or genocide”.

Dhillon, who retired with the rank of inspector general of police from the CRPF in 2010, was declared inadmissible under a subsection of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act last week.

India said on Tuesday that it has taken up the matter with the government of Canada.

In a statement on Tuesday, Canada’s high commissioner to India Nadir Patel said, “We regret any inconvenience that may have been experienced by this individual and their family.”

A document given to Dhillon at the airport had mentioned that he served a government engaged in “terrorism, systematic or gross human rights violations, or genocide, a war crime or a crime against humanity”. This startling condemnation of India was removed in a second report issued by immigration authorities at Vancouver airport. But they still held he could not be granted entry as he had served with the CRPF, which had “committed widespread and systemic human rights abuses, for example torture, arbitrary detention, murder and sexual assault”.

Indian Cop Turned Back2For his part, Canada’s envoy to India noted that Canada welcomes record number of Indians, and with such a large number of applications, “oversights on visa applications can happen which is regrettable.”

The envoy tried to explain the situation, saying, “Form letters in use by the Government of Canada include generic language taken from Canada’s legislation. In this case, the language does not reflect the Government of Canada’s policy toward India or any particular organization, including the Central Reserve Police Force of India.”

Speaking over phone from Ludhiana, Dhillon, who returned after being denied entry, said he had been travelling to Canada for more than 30 years including several times as a serving officer of the CRPF.

He said he had a Canadian visa issued in India that was valid till 2024.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said earlier on Tuesday that the issue has been taken up with the Canadian government.

“We have seen the news report regarding denial of entry by Canadian authorities to a senior retired Indian Police Officer. Such a characterisation of a reputed force like the CRPF is completely unacceptable. We have taken up the matter with the Government of Canada,” he said.

As he emplaned in Frankfurt for Vancouver after spending some time in Europe with his wife and daughter, the 67-year-old Dhillon never expected such a reception in Canada. “It is very upsetting. I have seen many crises, but this is very difficult to bear,” Dhillon said.

The ordeal began after he and his wife landed and were pulled aside during the initial immigration check.

Dhillon said the officers who interrogated him behaved in an “unreasonable and indecent manner”, accusing him of having either participated or having knowledge of human rights violations by the CRPF.

Dhillon, who retired as director of the Central Reserve Police Academy in Kadarpur, Gurgaon, and also served as director of the Internal Security Academy in Mount Abu, said: “There has not been a single incident of misconduct during my career.”

He was to spend a couple of days with friends in Vancouver before going to his daughter’s home in Seattle in the US and travelling back to Toronto for the main objective of the trip – to attend his niece’s wedding in the suburb of Brampton.

banners website 1But his questioning in Vancouver on May 18 lasted nearly seven hours and only ceased on the intervention of a friend, who had been waiting outside the airport to pick up the Dhillons.

That friend, controversial figure and a failed politician Shinder Purewal from Surrey, told Hindustan Times, “This is really uncalled for, accusing a person without a shred of evidence. This is something serious for the government of Canada to think about. Has the government decided India is a sponsor of terrorism? That India commits genocide?”

Indian Cop Turned Back3India has been accused of gross human rights violations by a number of International Human Rights groups and Sikh groups have accused the former Congress government of Genocide in the killing of thousands of Sikhs in Delhi in 1984.

Dhillons did get a 12-hour respite from the immigration interrogation, during which they were allowed to go to Purewal's residence.

But Canadian authorities commenced their interviewing of Dhillon again the next morning, ending with Dhillon’s visa being cancelled and being deported to India. His wife decided to return to India with him.

Dhillon said he did not want to relive his nightmare of travelling to Canada: “This is injustice, a very great humiliation. I’m very perturbed by this.”

While Dhillon is upset, this is nothing new as many Indian armed forces officers and Punjab Police personnel have been denied visas by Canada in the past on the grounds of rights violations.

For it's part, India has even denied visa to a sitting Sikh politician who has been critical of India.

This could be tit-for-tat as India denied visa to rising Sikh-Canadian political star Jagmeet Singh, who is an NDP MPP and Deputy Leader in Ontario.

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