Hindu man pretended to be Sikh to seek refuge in Canada

November 12th, 2008 - 3:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Nov 12 (IANS) A Hindu man, who came to Canada in 1998 on fake papers and lied about his links to Babbar Khalsa to seek refuge on grounds of religious persecution in India, is in double trouble.Because of his lies, he now fears both the Indian government and Babbar Khalsa.

Forty-two-year-old Baljit Ram told the Vancouver Sun Monday that he is a Hindu and lied about his religion to support his case against deportation to India.

He said he was told by his advisers to pretend to be a Babbar Khalsa member to persuade the Canadian authorities to grant him refugee status.

However, his case was rejected and he was ordered to be deported in 2000.

But Ram went underground and was noticed only this September when he was found stabbed at a subway station in Surrey on the outskirts of Vancouver.

On verification, police found that he had been ordered to be deported to India eight years ago, and that he also had an arrest warrant pending against him.

“I am Hindu,” Ram was quoted as saying by the Vancouver Sun.

Like many Indians who land in Canada on fake papers and later seek refugee status citing persecution in India, Ram said he also lied to the Canadian authorities about his membership of Babbar Khalsa which is banned in India and Canada.

“First time I come, I lie and say I was Babbar Khalsa member. I wanted to stay here so I lied. Everybody who comes here, first day, everybody lie [and] say Babbar Khalsa party member or other story like this. I don’t know Babbar Khalsa. I know nothing,” he told the newspaper.

The newspaper wondered why the arrest warrant against Ram was issued only this January when he should have been deported in 2000.

The warrant document also identified him as a Babbar Khalsa member.

Pleading to be allowed to stay in Canada, he said, “If I go to India, I have problems. Police there [might] say, ‘Hey you were lying there. Maybe you are a Babbar Khalsa member. Maybe [the] Babbar Khalsa party give me problem.”

However, the newspaper quoted his lawyer as saying that Ram had claimed links to Babbar Khalsa while seeking review of his deportation order.

Ram said he has been living on allowances given by friends and a gurdwara for the past eight years. But the gurdwara has denied any links to him.

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