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Canada deports paralysed Sikh refugee

Americas, Wed, 05 Nov 2008 IANS

Vancouver, Nov 5 (IANS) A paralyzed Sikh, who evaded deportation to India for two years by hiding at various gurdwaras here, was sent to India late Monday.


Forty-eight-year-old Laibar Singh, who entered Canada on fake papers in 2003, had sought refugee status on grounds of religious persecution in India.



Even as he was ordered to be deported, he became paralysed in 2006. But before could pick him up from hospital and deport to India in June 2006, his supporters whisked him to the sanctuary of a gurdwara.



After this, Singh was given two 60-day reprieves on humanitarian grounds.



Finally, when the authorities tried to put him on a plane to India at Vancouver airport last December, hundreds of Indo-Canadians blocked it.



Since then, Singh had been hiding in a gurdwara at Abbotsford on the outskirts on Vancouver.



Last week, he told IANS that he has decided to go back to his three grown-up children in a village near Jalandhar.



A widower, Singh said he didn't want get arrested and put in jail in Canada.



Before his departure, he thanked the Indo-Canadian community for caring for him through his ordeal. The community has raised $32,000 for him to pay for his medical care in India.



Swaran Gill, president of the gurdwara where Singh was hiding, said the community will raise more money for him later.


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