LONDON: Family and lawyers of a Khalistani activist Avtar Singh Khanda who died in highly suspicious circumstances in a Birmingham hospital here has alleged foul play by the Indian state and has called on the UK government to open an inquest into his death.
Avtar Singh Khanda died on 15 June in Birmingham in suspicious circumstances – just three days before the assassination of Canadian national Hardeep Singh Nijjar by the Indian state. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has accused the Indian govt of killing the Khalistani activist on Canadian soil.
Addressing a press conference here, Michael Polak, Barrister for the family of Khanda and Jagjit Singh, Jas Singh and Dabinderjit Singh (advisers to the Sikh Federation UK) called on the chief coroner to open an inquest into the death of Avtar Singh Khanda, whose mother has alleged that her son was poisoned to death by the Indian state agents. They accused the UK authorities of covering up facts around the mysterious death of the known pro-Khalistan activist, who was declared an “enemy” by the Indian state and the Indian media. They said the UK hospital and the West Midlands Police took steps before and after the death of Khanda which clearly points to a cover up by the UK authorities, to appease the Indian govt in return for a trade deal.
The press conference heard that the UK intelligence figures had told Sikhs in the UK they believed that there was a “foul play” around Khanda’s death and that the Indian government may have been involved in eliminating him as the Indian media and politicians openly celebrated his death in June this year.
Mr Khanda’s suspicious death was in the context of the assassination of Paramjit Singh Panjwar on 6 May 2023 in Pakistan and the Indian state backed assassination of the Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar on 18 June 2023 in Canada. Avtar Khanda, who has been described as mentor and trainer of pro-Khalistan Waris Punjab De leader Amritpal Singh, had received a number of threats to his life from individuals connected to the Indian state after he was wrongly implicated in the removal of the Indian flag during protest at the London High Commission on 19 March 2023.