Two AAP Punjab MLAs denied entry into Canada

AAP MLAs deported from Canada
AAP MLAs - Kultar Singh Sandhwan (left) and Amarjeet Singh Sandoa - deported from Canada.

Canadian authorities reportedly detained at Ottawa airport on Sunday and then deported to India two MLAs belonging to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab.

The two AAP MLAs are Amarjeet Singh Sandoa from Ropar and Kultar Singh Sandhwan from Kotkapura.

They were detained at the airport on arrival and then questioned for an hour. They were deported after they reportedly failed to answer questions from immigration officials.

The MLAs were reportedly on a private visit to Canada. Sandhwan had come an invitation from her sister who lives in Canada.

Amarjeet Singh Sandoa has been in the news in recent weeks. He was attacked by a sand mafia in June when he visited a quarry in his constituency. His gunman and assistant were also beaten up. In July, a court in Ropar registered a case of molestation against him on a complaint by his land lady for allegedly using foul language and manhandling.

AAP is the main opposition party in Punjab, with 20 MLAs in the 117-member Assembly.

The visits of many Punjab politicians have been creating controversies in Canada and India. In the early 2016, current Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh – who was the leader of the Opposition at that time – was denied permission to interact with the Punjabi diaspora and address rallies. Miffed by the snub, Amarinder Singh had cancelled his trip to Canada and later wrote a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau.

Because of a strong sentiment against them, Akali leaders Sukhbir Badal and others have also avoided visiting Canada. Comedian-turned-politician Bhagwant Mann is the only top Punjab politician to have had successful visits to Canada in the recent past.

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