Indian Police ‘Harassed’ Sikh Activist in UK Before His Sudden Death: The Guardian (The Wire)

The newspaper's investigation also raised questions about the UK police's earlier claim that Avtar Singh Khanda's death was the subject of a "thorough review" and that there was no foul play suspected.

New Delhi: Avtar Singh Khanda, a pro-Khalistan activist based in the UK, claimed just months before his sudden death in June this year that he was verbally harassed by Indian police who also threatened his family in Punjab, according to The Guardian.

Indian agencies accused Khanda of radicalising Sikh youth in the UK with extremist and separatist ideology. He was one of the prime accused in the pulling down of the tricolour at the Indian high commission in London during a protest by pro-Khalistan groups.

The Guardian‘s investigation has also raised questions about the West Midlands police’s earlier claim that Khanda’s sudden death was the subject of a “thorough review” and that there was no foul play suspected.

Khand died on June 15, four days after he was admitted to a hospital in Birmingham, UK. He was recently diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, an aggressive blood cancer. His associates suspected foul play – claiming he was poisoned – but British officials did not agree.

Now, The Guardian reports that the West Midlands force “appeared to distance itself from its original statement to the press, when it said the matter had been ‘thoroughly’ investigated”. But the police say they are still “satisfied that there are no suspicious circumstances”.

Khanda’s friends, fellow Sikh activists and family members told the UK newspaper that the “insistence by British authorities that a deeper investigation is not warranted fails to take into account damning details that have emerged about India’s alleged involvement in a global campaign of transnational repression aimed at Sikh separatists”.

The Indian government is facing allegations that its agents were involved in the killing of a Canadian Sikh in Vancouver just days after Khanda’s death, while a plot allegedly directed by an ‘identified Indian government employee‘ to kill an American Sikh was thwarted by US law enforcement agencies around the same time.

This story was originally published in Read the full story here .

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