World Update

Avtar Singh Khanda: UK police say they are not investigating Avtar Singh Khanda’s death as it is ‘not suspicious’ – Times of India

LONDON: West Midlands police have confirmed that there is no police investigation being carried out into the death of Amritpal Singh’s handler, Avtar Singh Khanda, in the UK as it “was not deemed to be suspicious”.

Khanda (35), who according to Indian security sources groomed Waris Punjab De chief Amritpal in Dubai to revive the Khalistan movement in India, died at Birmingham City Hospital on June 15 this year after being diagnosed with terminal blood cancer.The news of his death spawned several conspiracy theories amongst pro-Khalistan groups, including that he had been deliberately poisoned.
But a spokesperson for West Midlands police on Tuesday told TOI: “He was in hospital when he died. It was not deemed to be suspicious at the hospital and his death was referred to the coroner. The police were only even made aware of this because of allegations he was poisoned but he was in hospital for a reason — and that was not poisoning. Our involvement was only because of these allegations. His death is not deemed to be suspicious.”

Khanda’s mother, Charanjit Kaur (65), and sister, Jaspreet Kaur (32), who works as a nurse, live in India. They have applied for visas to come to the UK to attend his funeral, sources told TOI, saying they hoped they would be granted visas on compassionate grounds. Initially the family had wanted to repatriate his body to India as it was Khanda’s last wish that his body be cremated in Moga, Punjab, where he was born, and the ashes be immersed at Kiratpur Sahib. However, the family have not received the necessary clearances. Jaspreet had approached the Punjab and Haryana high court asking it to direct the Centre to issue permission to bring his body from the UK to Moga as she had not received any response from the Indian high commission in London.
To repatriate a body from Britain to India, a permit from the Indian high commission is required.
Khanda was associated with US-based Gurpatwant Singh, the leader of Sikhs for Justice, which is running the unofficial Khalistan referendum, as well as with Babbar Khalsa International terrorist Paramjit Singh Pamma. He inherited the secessionist aspiration from his father, Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) terrorist Kulwant Singh who was killed by security forces in 1991. He arrived in the UK as a student and his political asylum claim was pending at the time of his death.
He played a major role in shaping Waris Punjab De, first in association with its founder, Deep Sidhu, and after the latter’s death by anointing Amritpal Singh, until then an obscure trucker based in the UAE, as his successor.
It was also he who “arranged” Amritpal’s marriage to Kirandeep Kaur, a British national, and was instrumental in arranging all the hideouts used by Amritpal while he dodged Indian law enforcement agencies for 37 days. Amritpal was ultimately arrested and is lodged in Dibrugarh jail, Assam.
Kirandeep was stopped from leaving India last week when she attempted to board a plane to the UK. It is thought she was planning to attend Khanda’s funeral.
There are numerous tribute videos to Khanda on TikTok. Several claim to have an audio recording of his last words when in hospital on a ventilator. In these a man says: “Everyone please stay in Chardi Kala, as per the Bhana (will) of Maharaj. I am in Chardi Kala as well. Whatever that pleases Maharaj [is best]. Always keep the Panth in Chardi Kala. We shall not waver in any way. Humans come and go. Maharaj will look after. Long live Khalistan.”

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