Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Khalistan Used as a Shield by Asylum Seekers Entering the US Illegally

by Parminder Singh Sodhi

In a startling revelation, an investigation by the Gujarat Police has uncovered a shocking scheme involving individuals from Punjab being instructed to identify themselves as pro-Khalistan activists to seek asylum in the United States. This revelation comes weeks after a Nicaragua-bound plane, carrying both Punjabi and Gujarati passengers, was grounded in France and subsequently sent back to India.

The investigation, led by SP Rajkumar, ADGP, CID (Crime and Railways), Gujarat Police, has exposed a sinister plan orchestrated by agents who allegedly promised to assist individuals from Gujarat in entering the US illegally via the Mexico border. As per reports, if caught at the border, passengers from Punjab were instructed to identify themselves as Khalistanis, exploiting the asylum-seeking process in the US.

“The agents instructed the passengers from Punjab to identify themselves as Khalistanis and seek asylum in the US if they were caught at the border. The story will be different for other passengers. In the US, the government allows asylum seekers to work on humanitarian grounds,” stated SP Rajkumar.

This revelation has shed light on the exploitation of the Khalistan brand, revealing that it may be used as a convenient shield for those seeking asylum rather than representing the true sentiments of the majority of its proponents. The investigation has raised questions about the authenticity of Khalistan activism, indicating that for some, it might merely be a pretext to gain entry into the US under the guise of humanitarian grounds.

The Gujarat Police have taken action against 14 agents involved in this human trafficking operation, booking them on charges of attempting to send 66 Gujaratis to the US illegally. The agents, based mainly in Gujarat, with some from Delhi, Mumbai, and Dubai, allegedly charged exorbitant amounts, ranging from Rs 60 lakh to Rs 80 lakh, to facilitate the illegal entry.

It has come to light that these agents, in collaboration with main agents in the US, Mexico, Nicaragua, Dubai, and Delhi, have been involved in multiple trips to Nicaragua in December alone. The passengers were directed to board a chartered flight from Fujairah International Airport to Nicaragua, where their final destination was supposed to be the US-Mexico border.

The investigation further revealed that the agents had strategically booked air tickets for the passengers and handled all flight bookings through Delhi-based agents. The operation was sophisticated, with agents having lawyers ready in case anything went wrong during their attempts to enter the US illegally.

As authorities continue to probe this illicit operation, the revelation underscores the need for heightened vigilance in immigration processes and the importance of distinguishing genuine asylum seekers from those attempting to exploit the system for personal gain. The use of Khalistan as a shield in this operation adds a new dimension to the complexities surrounding asylum-seeking and immigration issues globally.

Parminder Singh Sodhi

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