US embassy cable - 85VANCOUVER2152

MAJOR POLICE ACTION AGAINST SIKHS IN VANCOUVER

Identifier: 85VANCOUVER2152
Wikileaks: View 85VANCOUVER2152 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Vancouver
Created: 1985-11-07 21:35:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PTER PINS MOPS IN CA
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 072135Z NOV 85
FM AMCONSUL VANCOUVER
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2975
INFO AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
AMCONSUL CALGARY
AMCONSUL MONTREAL
AMCONSUL QUEBEC
AMCONSUL TORONTO
AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI
C O N F I D E N T I A L VANCOUVER 2152 
 
OTTAWA PLS POUCH HALIFAX AND WINNIPEG 
 
E.O. 12356:  DECL:  OADR 
TAGS:  PTER, PINS, MOPS, IN, CA 
SUBJECT:  MAJOR POLICE ACTION AGAINST SIKHS IN VANCOUVER 
 
1.  (C - ENTIRE TEXT) 
 
2.  THE RCMP AND VANCOUVER POLICE CARRIED OUT A SERIES OF ARRESTS 
AND COORDINATED SEARCHES OF THE HOMES OF MILITANT SIKHS HERE IN 
VANCOUVER NOVEMBER 6.  THE RCMP ARRESTS OF TALWINDER SINGH 
PARMAR AND INDERJIT SINGH REYAT WERE IN CONNECTION WITH THE NARITA 
AIRPORT EXPLOSION LAST JUNE.  THE VANCOUVER POLICE RAIDS WERE 
NOT RELATED TO THE NARITA BOMBING, BUT TO A NUMBER OF RECENT ATTACKS 
BY MILITANT SIKHS ON MORE MODERATE SIKHS HERE IN VANCOUVER. 
 
3.  PRESS REPORTS HERE PORTRAY THE ARREST OF PARMAR AND REYAT 
AS BEING RELATED BOTH TO THE NARITA AIRPORT BOMBING AND THE 
ALMOST SIMULTANEOUS LOSS OF AIR INDIA FLIGHT 182 OVER 
THE ATLANTIC.  PRESS REPORTS STATE THAT THE RCMP ARE CONVINCED THEY 
HAVE  PROOF THAT AIR INDIA FLIGHT 182 WAS DESTROYED BY A 
BOMB, AND THAT THE TWO INCIDENTS WERE LINKED, AND WERE ENGINEERED 
FROM THE VANCOUVER AREA.  APPARENTLY THE PRESS ACCOUNTS ARE 
SOMEWHAT EXAGGERATED. 
 
4.  ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DONALD WILSON, ACTING IN CHARGE OF 
THE RCMP IN BRITISH COLUMBIA TELLS ME THAT THE EVIDENCE THAT 
THE RCMP HAS AGAINST PARMAR AND REYAT RELATES ONLY TO THE 
NARITA AIRPORT BOMBING.  HE DID NOT SEEM OVERLY CONFIDENT THAT 
THE EVIDENCE WILL BE ENOUGH TO BRING CHARGES, BUT HE HOPES 
SO.  COMMISSIONER WILSON SAYS THAT THIS IS "JUST ABOUT OUR LAST 
SHOT." 
 
5.  THE RAIDS BY THE VANCOUVER POLICE ON THE HOMES OF PROMINENT 
SIKH MILITANTS WERE RELATED TO A NUMBER OF INCIDENTS IN RECENT 
WEEKS IN WHICH THE MILITANTS HAVE ATTACKED MORE MODERATE SIKHS 
IN AN ATTEMPT TO GAIN CONTROL OF THE SIKH COMMUNITY IN VANCOUVER. 
VIOLENT INTIMIDATION TACTICS HAVE REPORTEDLY FORCED MEMBERS OF 
A SIKH TEMPLE IN THE VANCOUVER SUBURB OF SURREY TO ACCEPT A 
"COMPROMISE" ACCORD THAT GIVES CONTROL TO THE FUNDAMENTALISTS. 
MANMOHAN SINGH, A SPOKESMAN FOR THE MILITANT INTERNATIONAL 
SIKH YOUTH FEDERATION, ASSERTS THAT THE FUNDAMENTALISTS NOW 
CONTROL THE SIKH TEMPLES IN ABBOTSFORD, SURREY, AND NEW 
WESTMINISTER, AND THE ROSS STREET TEMPLE IN VANCOUVER.  HE 
SAID THAT VOTING REGULATIONS AT THE OTHER VANCOUVER TEMPLE, 
ON SKEENA STREET, HAVE PREVENTED THE ISYF FROM GAINING CONTROL 
THERE.  SEVERAL SIKH MODERATES IN VANCOUVER HAVE RECENTLY BEEN 
THE VICTIMS OF VIOLENT ATTACKS BY RADICAL SIKHS.  AND THE MILITANTS 
HAVE DISRUPTED A TEMPLE ELECTION IN NEW WESTMINISTER. 
 
6.  THE MAIN MILITANT SIKH GROUPS IN VANCOUVER ARE THE BABAR 
KHALSA AND THE INTERNATIONAL SIKH YOUTH FEDERATION.  THE BABAR 
KHALSA WAS FOUNDED AND IS HEADED BY TALWINDER SINGH PARMAR. 
A FORMER MEMBER, SURJAN SINGH GILL, ESTABLISHED THE CONSULATE 
OF THE SO-CALLED REPUBLIC OF KHALISTAN IN VANCOUVER.  THE 
INTERNATIONAL SIKH YOUTH FEDERATION IS HEADED BY SATINDERPAL 
GILL, BUT ITS MAIN SPOKESMAN APPEARS TO BE MANMOHAN SINGH, 
ONE OF THOSE WHOSE HOME WAS RAIDED BY THE POLICE.  POLICE 
FOUND A NUMBER OF WEAPONS AT HIS HOME.  OTHER MILITANT SIKHS 
WHO WERE QUESTIONED OR HAD THEIR HOMES SEARCHED WERE SODHI SINGH 
SODHI (ISYF); SURJAN SINGH GILL (FORMER MEMBER OF BABAR KALSA); 
SANGAT SINGH PAWA; AMARJIT SINGH PAWA; AND HARDIAL SINGH JOHAL. 
 
OGG 

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