“Sol Prendido” for Borderland Beat
At least three Indian-origin Canadians have been killed in Canada over the last one week, allegedly on account of an intensifying gang war among the large Sikh/Punjabi population there.
The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) in Canada released a video late Sunday night of the killing of 41-year-old Harpreet Singh Uppal, who is believed to have been a part of a gang called ‘Brothers Keepers’ in Canada.
He and his 11-year-old son were shot on 9 November — while they were in their white SUV. While Uppal succumbed to his injuries immediately, his son died while undergoing treatment at a hospital.
Last week, 27-year-old Parmvir Chahil, described by Canadian media as a member of another gang called the ‘United Nations’, was shot dead in a parking garage in Vancouver.
Giving details of Uppal’s killing, the police said the suspects arrived in a black BMW SUV. Two suspected assailants then exited the vehicle, ran towards Uppal’s car, fired shots, and fled the scene.
“A short time later, police were notified of a vehicle fire… At this time, police continue to investigate if the suspect vehicle and burned vehicle, a 2012 black BMW X6, are the same. No one was located inside the vehicle,” the police said in a statement.
The killings have raised alarm bells in the Canadian media, which described these killings as part of the “B.C. gang war”, or gang-related shootings in British Columbia, where Vancouver is located.
The Vancouver Sun reported that the killings show the “deadly tentacles” of the
B.C. gang war, marked by “tit-for-tat slayings”, “are spreading”
With regard to the killing of Uppal’s son, the Vancouver Sun report quoted police as saying that “the boy was intentionally slain, marking a breach of unwritten gangland conduct that spares children”.
The boy’s friend, who was also in the vehicle that was targeted outside a gas station in broad daylight, was not shot.
The report said Brothers Keepers, United Nations and Red Scorpion-Kang are just some of the B.C. gangs that have turned public spaces across the Lower Mainland area of British Columbia into a battleground.
A similar killing earlier this year in British Columbia’s Surrey — of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was shot by car-borne shooters in gang-war style — sparked a diplomatic row between India and Canada, when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed his government was investigating “credible allegations” of a “potential link” between agents of the Government of India and the killing.
New Delhi rejected Trudeau’s allegations as “absurd and motivated”.
The Washington Post reported on 26 September that footage of Nijjar’s killing appears to suggest it could have been a “larger and more organised” operation than earlier reported, involving around six men and two cars.