Backers of Indian refugee in Canada stand to lose $50,000

February 28th, 2008 - 11:32 pm ICT by admin  


Vancouver, Feb 28 (IANS) Supporters of Laibar Singh, a failed refugee claimant from India, face the possibility of losing $50,000 they deposited as bond for keeping him in Canada if he does not surrender by March 3. The bond was deposited in December when Singh’s supporters foiled an attempt by the Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA) to deport him by blockading Vancouver airport. However, there was no official word on it yet.

The 48-year-old man had entered Canada on a fake passport in 2003 and applied for refugee status. However, he lost his bid even as he got paralysed in 2006.

His supporters have thwarted two attempts to deport him since last year. He is currently sheltered at a Surrey gurdwara in Vancouver suburb.

Meanwhile, a key supporter Wednesday reiterated that Singh should be sent back to India. Harpal Singh Nagra had told IANS last week that he would like Singh to be sent back.

Nagra, who heads the South Asian Human Rights Group which spearheaded protests against Singh’s deportation, again said that he can get the required treatment in India.

However, he maintained he has not changed his position.

He told local radio stations: “Even Laibar Singh himself wants to go to India because he can get the required treatment there. We are willing to forgo the $50,000 bond and raise more money for his treatment in India.”

But Laibar Singh told The Vancouver Sun that he wants to stay in Canada.

“I want to stay here because I am improving in my health. I feel I am getting real comfort and more help,” the newspaper quoted the disabled man as saying.

The paper said he was distraught to hear that his former key backer now wanted him deported.

The Canadian authorities maintain that the disabled Indian will have to leave the country as the deportation order against him stands.

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