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Sikh facing deportation takes shelter in shrine

March 25, 2008 16:20 IST

Failed refugee claimant Laibar Singh, who is facing deportation to India, has taken shelter in another gurudwara after he was forced to leave the Sikh shrine where he had taken shelter since December.

Singh, 48, had pleaded sanctuary in Canada after entering the country in 2003 on a fake passport, claiming he faced a threat to his life in India because he was accused of being an extremist.

Later he suffered a massive stroke in 2006 that left him quadriplegic and he sought refuge on medical grounds, but his requests were rejected. He was living in the Surrey's Guru Nanak Sikh temple.

Singh has now shifted to Kalgidhar Darbar Sahib temple in Abbotsford of Canada's British Columbia as, earlier this month, Surrey shrine's president, Balwant Singh Gill, and a committee of south Asian leaders asked him to leave Canada, claiming a backing of 90 per cent of the Lower Mainland South Asian community.

Abbotsford temple president Swarn Singh, a supporter of Singh, a father of three, said that Singh was moved to the Gurdwara Friday night because other people didn't want to keep him at Surrey Gurdwara.

"Laibar Singh was happy. He was hearing things on the radio and was worried about what was going to happen to him, but he is a little bit better now," Swarn was quoted as saying by media in Toronto.

Lower Mainland South Asian community had also offered Singh $100,000 for medical treatment and his family if he went back to India, but Singh refused the offer saying he wanted to stay in Canada.

Authorities have twice tried to deport Singh in recent months, but have failed following protests from a section of Sikh community.

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