NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C., Canada: Four Sikhs convicted of attempted murder for shooting the Punjab State Minister of Planning here last year were each sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Justice Howard Callaghan of the British Columbia Supreme Court, calling the incident an “act of terrorism”, also ordered that the four be prohibited from possessing firearms or explosives for an additional 25 years.

The men were found guilty in February of the attempted murder of Malkiat Singh Sidhu, who was visiting Vancouver Island last May.

The Punjab Planning Minister was visiting relatives after attending a newphew’s wedding when the car in which he was riding was ambushed on a secluded road.

Sidhu was shot in the arm and chest but survived and returned to India. He did not testify at the trial.

He was travelling without protection because he had not informed Canadian government officials that he was in Canada.

Sikhs in Punjab are seeking to establish an independent nation they call Khalistan.

Sentenced were Jasbir Singh Atwal, 26, Jaspal Singh Atwal, 31, Sikh dial Singh Gill, 27, and Amarjit Singh Dhindsa, 25, all from the Vancouver area.

Article extracted from this publication >>  April 10, 1987