Hero Image

Moga's small-time crook hit crime's big league in Canada

BATHINDA: Slain gangster-terrorist Sukhdool Singh Gill, aka Sukha Duneke, started out small in 2005, cutting his teeth in crime with petty jobs before graduating to running an extortion racket and carrying out targeted killings from Canada.

Thirty-something Sukha, whose roots lie in the nondescript Duneke village of Punjab's Moga district that finds mention in his alias, spent 18 years of his life chasing notoriety before meeting a bloody end in Canada's Winnipeg on Thursday.

Known to be a close associate of Arshdeep Singh, alias Arsh Dala, who hails from Dala village in Moga, Sukha was a chip off the old Bambiha gang, originally headed by Davinder Bambiha. Davinder, who was from Bathinda, was killed in an encounter on September 9, 2016, in a paddy field of Gill Kalan village in Bathinda.

After Davinder's death, some of his gang members migrated abroad. Sukha, who had seven cases against his name at the time, used his clout to get his application for a second passport verified by police and left for Canada in 2017, sources said.

In Canada, Sukha came in contact with Arsh, who is believed to have been in touch with slain Khalistan Tiger Force head Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The NIA, in an FIR filed on June 10, 2021, under UAPA, said Arsh and other criminals had been extorting and killing in Punjab at Nijjar's behest.

On August 26 last year, Sukha and a few other criminals were charged under UAPA with forming a group to recruit youth in India for criminal acts, including killings.

In Canada, Sukha was named in the killing of UK-based kabaddi player Sandeep Nangal Ambian in March 2022. It is only after the murders of Ambian and rapper Sidhu Moose Wala in May that intelligence agencies started looking into records and passports of gangsters residing in foreign countries. Arsh and Sukha were found to be the prime suspects in several instances of crime.

Punjab Police's anti-gangster taskforce discovered that Sukha had got a second passport issued with the connivance of some cops posted in Moga despite already having one that had been confiscated.

In 2022, two cops were charged with clearing Sukha's passport application by bending rules.

Moga SSP J Elenchezhian said the police were trying to get details of how Sukha entered the world of crime and his involvement in criminal activities while in Punjab and later in Canada. His mother and sister lived with him in Canada.

Residents of Duneke village are reluctant to talk about Sukha and his family beyond the known facts such as the slain gangster's father being a government employee before he died. Sukha had apparently got a job in the Moga DC's office after his father's death, but he didn't last long there.