New Zealand: 3 Khalistan supporters sentenced for plot to kill Kiwi radio host Harnek Singh

The attack took place on December 23, 2020, when Harnek Singh was ambushed by a group of religious fundamentalists in his driveway

December 03, 2023 02:14 am | Updated 02:14 am IST - Auckland

Three Khalistan supporters were convicted for attempting to murder the Auckland-based radio host Harnek Singh, who has been vocal against the ideology of Khalistan, The Australia Today reported.

Sarvjeet Sidhu, 27, pleaded guilty to attempted murder, while Sukhpreet Singh, 44, was found guilty of being an accessory. The third individual, a 48-year-old Auckland resident, planned the attack, harbouring resentment against Harnek Singh. Judge Mark Woolford emphasised the need for community protection and a strong deterrence against religious fanaticism.

The attack took place on December 23, 2020, when Harnek Singh was ambushed by a group of religious fundamentalists in his driveway. He suffered over 40 stab wounds and required more than 350 stitches and multiple surgeries to recover.

According to the report, there is a 48-year-old defendant (with interim name suppression) who was not present at the time of the attack. This man, the court was told, harboured a years-long resentment against Hranek Singh as the popular Kiwi radio host was vocal against the Khalistan. ”Harnek Singh told the courtroom that his opinions regarding Sikhism probably fall more along the liberal end of the spectrum while the majority of his critics were more on the fundamentalist or conservative side,” as reported by The Australia Today.

The 48-year-old mastermind behind the attack received a sentence of 13-and-a-half years, with a minimum period of imprisonment of nine years before parole eligibility. Sarvjeet Sidhu was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years’ imprisonment, while Sukhpreet Singh received six months of home detention. Notably, two men, Jagraj Singh and Gurbinder Singh, were acquitted due to insufficient evidence, while two others, Jobanpreet Singh and Hardeep Singh Sandhu, await sentencing early next year for their involvement in the attempted murder of Harnek Singh.

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