03 March 2008

Seven Days And Counting For Laibar Singh Ji

Today was supposed to be Laibar Singh's last day in Canada. He has, however, been graciously *rolls eyes* granted one more week by the benevolent government of our great land. To be totally truthful, he has improved, thanks to acupuncture treatments. He can move and use his arms. At least he can feed himself. Of course, he still cannot walk.

We had hoped he could stay in Canada for another year. But that looks unlikely at this time. I have heard that the $50,000 bond, which would be returned to those who posted it, will be used for his medical care in India. If he is returned, we can only pray that his fame and many supporters will keep him safe from the governmental powers that have killed, tortured and imprisoned so many of our brothers and sisters without mercy. Is my heavy heart showing here?

Well, seven days is seven days, and anything can happen in the meantime. I do not know the Hukam of Vaheguru in this, but we will learn soon enough.

This article is from The Thaindian News tonight.

7 days for Indians to hand over deportee or lose $50,000
March 4th, 2008 - 11:11 am ICT by admin -

Vancouver, March 4 (IANS) Canadian authorities have allowed supporters of failed refugee claimant Laibar Singh one more week to either hand him over or face forfeiture of their $50,000 bond. The bond would have been forfeited Monday as that was the earlier deadline for handing him over for deportation.

His Indo-Canadian supporters, who are sheltering him in a Surrey gurdwara in a Vancouver suburb, are seeking a waiver of one year on his deportation. They had deposited the $50,000 bond after they aborted an attempt by the Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA) to deport him Dec 10 last year.

The 48-year-old Punjab native was allowed to stay on the bond guarantee that he would later be handed over to the CBSA authorities.

Singh, who came to Canada on a fake passport in 2003 and later exhausted all legal avenues to seek refugee status even as he got paralysed in 2006, was ordered to be deported last July. But he was whisked away from hospital by his supporters and given sanctuary in a gurdwara before the police could deport him.

After three reprieves of 60 days each when another attempt was made by the CBSA to put him on a plane to India on Dec 10, his supporters again thwarted it by blocking Vancouver airport. Only on a bond guarantee of $50,000 was he allowed to stay.

Balwant Gill, president of Surrey Guru Nanak Sikh Temple where Singh is currently staying, told IANS that they sent a letter to the CBSA Monday, seeking one year’s stay in Canada for the disabled man.

“All 30-odd associations supporting him met Saturday and decided to write to the CBSA for extension of the bond for one year. They have given us just seven days. We will see when March 10 comes,” he said.

Asked whether they were ready to forfeit the $50,000 bond, he said: “In today’s letter we have requested the CBSA to let this man recover well in Canada for one year”.

He said his temple and the local Indian community were now paying for his medical care.

“Three specialists check him virtually every day, apart from a full-time caregiver who is with him.”