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Canada gang wars have a Punjab connection

rganised gang activity in Canada involving drug-trafficking and killings has a strong Punjabi connection. Many of these violent gangs have a significant presence of youngsters from the immigrant Punjabi community, mainly Sikhs. More than 100 youth of Punjabi descent have been killed in gang wars in Canada, a country which has a large concentration of Sikh immigrants.

With names like Red Scorpions, Hells' Angels, Independent Soldiers and United Nations, these gangs have members from all ethnic groups; but the immigrants, of whom Sikhs form a major chunk, comprise a sizeable part of these. The Indo-Canadian gangs, considered one of the top organised crime problems in British Columbia, have grown in size over the years with an increasingly violent ramification.

Gurbinder "Bin" Toor was the latest to fall victim to the gang war in Vancouver. Having links with the notorious Dhak-Duhre gang, the 35-year-old second generation Sikh immigrant was shot dead this May. Earlier in the month, Ranjit Singh Cheema, a one-time associate of slain gangster Bindy Johal, was killed. A few months back Cheema had finished serving three years in a California jail for smuggling drugs. The killings followed a string of murders linked to a gang war that even spilled into Mexico. There have been many attempts on the lives of people associated with the Dhak-Duhre gang, who were issued a warning by the police last September. Sandip Singh Duhre, the leader of the Duhre gang, was shot dead in January this year. An attempt was made on the life of Harm Gill earlier in February. Jujhar Khun-Khun, another associate, escaped with serious injuries in September last year.

The Dosanjh brothers are believed to be among the first organised Indo Canadian gangs in Vancouver in the early 1990s. Both the brothers, Ron and Jimmy Dosanjh, who ran the gang, were killed. The killings were linked with the drug turf war led by Bindy Johal, the leader of the notorious gang Indo-Canadian Mafia. Bindy Johal formed a death-squad "The Elite", which is believed to have committed at least 30 murders across the province including such as those of the high-profile Dosanjh brothers. Johal, who lived by the gun, got killed by a former associate, Bal Buttar in 1998. Buttar, in turn, survived a murderous attack, but remains a quadriplegic. The fight for the control of the drug trade saw many killings and murder attempts in the 1990s, with an escalation again in the last couple of years.

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