Avtar Singh Purba alias Khanda, a prominent pro-Khalistani activist who was involved in the attack on the Indian High Commission in London, died at a hospital in the city of Birmingham on Thursday morning, a UK-based Sikh organisation said in a statement.
Sikh Federation UK, which has styled itself as one of the largest Sikh organisations based in the UK, said Avtar Singh was terminally ill with blood cancer. He was on a life support system for the last few days.
Avtar Singh, who initially went to UK in 2007 on study visa but later took asylum there in 2012 and never returned since then, was linked to anti-India activities including the attack on the tricolour at the High Commission of India in London earlier this year – allegations that he had denied.
"It is with the greatest sadness that we share the shocking news that the young Panthic Activist Bhai Avtar Singh Khanda (35) has passed away in a Birmingham hospital this morning,” Jaspal Singh, National Press Secretary of Sikh Federation UK, said in a statement.
The organisation went on to attack the Indian authorities for running a “hate campaign” against Avtar Singh and his family because of his close family ties with pro-Khalistani activists Deep Sidhu, who died in a road accident in February last year, and and Amritpal Singh, a radical preacher who is currently in an Indian jail.
Avtar Singh was son of slain Khalistan Liberation Force terrorist Kulwant Singh Khukhrana, who was killed in an encounter.
He was learnt to be heading KLF outfit under code name Ranjodh Singh after the killing of erstwhile KLF chief Harmeet Singh alias PhD in Pakistan in January 2020.
On Wednesday, India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) released five videos of suspects they believe were involved in the violent protest at the Indian High Commission in London by pro-Khalistani supporters.
The central agency had taken over the probe after home ministry officials met UK representatives in the wake of the attack on March 19.
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