Ex-officer Tejinder Singh Dhillon was refused entry at the Vancouver airport last week on the grounds that the Indian government engages in “terrorism, systematic or gross human rights violations, or genocide.”
“We are aware of media reports that an Indian national was denied entry to Canada, despite having had a valid visa. We regret any inconvenience that may have been experienced by this individual and their family.” – Nadir Patel, Canadian Envoy
Dhillon, who retired in 2010, was an Inspector General from the Central Reserve Police Force. He was declared inadmissible under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Dhillon was given a document which stated him to be a:
Prescribed senior official in the service of a government that, in the opinion of the Minister, engages or has engaged in terrorism, systematic or gross human rights violations, or genocide, a war crime or a crime against humanity.
While the condemnation was removed in a second report issued by Vancouver airport’s immigration authorities, they maintained Dhillon couldn’t be granted entry, as he was a part of the CRPF, which “committed widespread and systemic human rights abuses, for example torture, arbitrary detention, murder, and sexual assault.”
The retired CRPF officer revealed that he has been traveling to Canada for over 30 years, and had visited even when he was a serving CRPF officer. He said that he had a valid visa till 2024.
But, on 18 May, his questioning lasted nearly 7 hours, only to be interrupted by his friend who had come to the airport to pick up Dhillon and his wife.
While their friend managed to get them out of the airport after nearly 12 hours, the interrogation commenced the next day with Dhillon’s visa getting cancelled and him getting deported. His wife chose to come back to India with him.
The Immigration Department and the Canadian Border Services Agency are yet to respond on the matter.
“We have seen the news report regarding the denial of entry by Canadian authorities to a senior retired Indian 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.” – Gopal Baglay, Spokesperson, External Affairs Ministry
This is the latest incident that has put India-Canada bilateral relations under stress.
Last month, the Ontario Assembly in Canada passed a motion that recognises the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in India, that killed over 2,500 people, as genocide.
The motion, which was passed 35 to 5 on 6 April, was moved by Harinder Malhi, an MP of Indian origin from Brampton-Springdale district.
Source: The Quint