Ex-CRPF official's visa restored as Canada apologises, issues him air ticket

Hours after a retired senior CRPF officer went public with his humiliation by Canadian border control officers, the Canadian High Commission on Tuesday regretted the inconvenience caused to 67-year-old TS Dhillon and asserted that the language used by its officials about CRPF did not reflect the Canadian government's policy towards India or its organisations.

According to the Hindustan Times, Dhillon was initially shown a letter which said he was being denied entry under section 35 (1)(b) of the act, which says he was "a prescribed senior official in the service of a government that, in the opinion of the Minister, engages or has engaged in terrorism, systematic or gross human rights violations, or genocide, a war crime or a crime against humanity within the meaning of subsections 6 (3) to (5) of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act".

The highly-distinguished former Inspector General of Police, who retired from the CRPF in 2010, said he and his wife were initially cleared by immigration officials when they landed on 18 May but were stopped just before he were to exit the Vancouver airport. "We have taken up the matter with the Government of Canada", said Gopal Baglay, Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson.

Canada has barred a former high-ranking Indian police officer from entering the country. "We regret any inconvenience that may have been experienced by this individual and their family", Patel said in his statement.

"In situations where established procedures may not have been followed, a review takes place to avoid any reoccurrence", he said. "Canada's privacy laws prevent me from commenting further". My goal of meeting them now is to ensure that no other CRPF official faces the same harassment and humiliation that I faced.

Dhillon told babushahi.com: "I was instantly granted visa and obliged with a ticket for the first available flight to Canada".

The Canadian envoy added, "From time to time, with such a large number of applications, oversights on visa applications can happen which is regrettable".

The Canadian action may be an isolated incident but it came at a time India is rolling out a muscular and high-voltage security policy exemplified by the robust defence of the army using a human shield in Kashmir and the release of footage to back up claims of "punitive fire assaults" across the Line of Control. Such a characterisation of a reputed force like the CRPF is completely unacceptable. Over the years, it has been alleged that the force commits widespread human rights abuses, ranging from illegal detentions and encounters to rape.

Uh oh. It seems India and Canada's relations just took another hit.

Earlier, it had been reported by the PTI that a retired IG of the CRPF had been denied entry into Canada by airport authorities.

  • Leroy Wright