Chandigarh, (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday urged the Centre to take up with Canadian authorities the extradition of 10 Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) declared Proclaimed Offenders in drugs cases.
The extradition has been pending for three-four years, scuttling the efforts to bring these NRIs to justice, the Chief Minister said in separate letters to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
“Punjab’s Congress government has scaled up efforts for their extradition from Canada as part of its war on drugs but was hampered as these cases are pending at various levels,” Amarinder Singh said.
The state government has decided to aggressively pursue the extradition issue since the custodial interrogation of these NRIs was vital to expose the drugs network in Punjab and those patronising the trade, an official spokesperson said here.
The Chief Minister said Sarabjit Singh Sandhar alias Nik of Balioun village and now living in Vancouver was declared a Proclaimed Offender on October 19, 2013.
Request for his extradition was sent to Canadian authorities through proper channels and thereafter prepared afresh as per guidelines shared by them and again sent to the Home Ministry, which forwarded it to the External Affairs Ministry on July 20, 2017.
The extradition request in case of Ranjit Singh Aujla of Muthada Kalan village was pending since July 25, 2017. He was declared a Proclaimed Offender on August 31, 2013.
Amarinder Singh said that in case of Nirankar Singh Dhillon of Apra Mandi village who was declared a Proclaimed Offender on October 19, 2013, the extradition request was pending since September 19.
The extradition request for Gursewak Singh Dhillon of Leela Megh Singh village who was declared a Proclaimed Offender on April 1, 2014 was sent to the central government on July 20 but there had been no progress since.
The other cases concerned Amarjit Singh Kooner of Mehmadpur village, Lamer Singh Daleh of Mehsampur village, Pardeep Singh Dhaliwal, Amarinder Singh Chheena and Parminder Singh Deo, the Chief Minister said.
Another extradition request relates to Ranjit Kaur Kahlon, wife of Anoop Singh Kahlon, of Jhandu Singha village in Jalandhar district in whose name her husband had purchased properties in Jalandhar and Zirakpur from proceeds of drug money, the spokesperson said.