Funds for paralysed Sikh facing deportation from Canada

July 1st, 2008 - 12:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Vancouver, July 1 (IANS) The local Indo-Canadian community has raised thousands of dollars for treatment of a paralysed Sikh who faces imminent deportation to India. Laibar Singh, 48, who came to Canada on fake documents in 2004 and later sought asylum on grounds of persecution in India, is currently sheltered in a gurdwara at Abbotsford city near Vancouver.

His supporters have blocked three attempts by the Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA) to deport him since July last year.

Singh became paralysed in 2006, prompting the Indo-Canadian community to seek permanent resident status Canada on humanitarian grounds as he would not be able to afford costly medical care in India.

The CBSA visited Abbotsford’s Gurdwara Kalgidhar Darbar two weeks ago to inform the management that Singh would be picked up and deported any time.

In view of his impending deportation, the management organised a fund-raiser for Singh with the help of the local Sher-e-Punjab radio at the weekend.

“Yes, the CBSA visited us and told us that Laibar Singh can be sent back any time. If they do come, we will peacefully oppose their entry into a religious place,” Swaran Singh Gill, president of the gurdwara, told IANS.

But, he added, they would not forcibly oppose his deportation as they have exhausted all legal avenues.

“That’s why we raised funds for Laibar Singh so that he can get good treatment in India in case he is deported,” said Gill who himself contributed $5,000 to the fund.

Though Gill didn’t reveal how much money was raised, he said: “The response was very good. People want to help this unfortunate man. When we collect the promised amount, we will let you know how much money we raised.”

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