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Who Was Sukha Duneke and What Could Have Led to His Murder in Canada's Winnipeg?

Sukha Duneke was part of the Davinder Bambiha gang in Punjab, before he escaped to Canada.

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Video Producers: Shohini Bose and Mohammad Sarim

Video Editors: Abhishek Sharma and Prajjwal Kumar

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Gangster Sukhdool Singh Gill, better known as Sukha Duneke, was shot dead in Canada's Winnipeg on 20 September.

This was confirmed by the Winnipeg Police in a press release issued in the early hours of 22 September IST (21 September in Canada).

Earlier, the police had said, "On September 20, at approximately 10:00 a.m., the Winnipeg Police Service responded to an incident in the North Inkster Industrial area. North District General Patrol officers, assisted by members of the Tactical Support Team, attended a residence in the 200 block of Hazelton Drive, where they located a deceased adult male victim. The victim was transported to hospital.".

Rumours about Duneke's killing had begun on 21 September itself but at that time there had been no confirmation from authorities in Canada, until this press release.

Speaking to the media on 21 September, SSP Moga J Elanchezhian had said that Punjab Police had received information about Duneke's death but were in the process of verifying.

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Who Was Sukha Duneke?

According to SSP Elanchezhian, Sukha Duneke belonged to Duneke village in Punjab's Moga district and had about 15-16 cases registered against him, including extortion, attempt to murder and murder.

Duneke was part of a list of wanted gangsters released by the National Investigation Agency earlier this week.

The first criminal case against him was in 2013 but he was later acquitted in this.

Sukha is said to have escaped abroad in 2017. Two Moga cops were later arrested for allegedly helping Duneke get a passport and police clearance based on forged documents.

His criminal activities intensified after his move to Canada, which also enabled him to go higher in Punjab's gang ecosystem.

His main areas of influence are said to have been Moga, Faridkot and Bathinda districts.

In Canada, Sukha is said to have come into contact with gangster Arshdeep Singh, better known as Arsh Dala, who has been designated as an "individual terrorist" by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

Sukha was named in the killing of kabaddi player Sandeep Nangal Ambian in March 2022.

According to SSP Elanchezhian, Sukha later brought his mother and sister to Canada as well.

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Who Killed Him?

On 21 September, a Facebook post attributed to jailed gangster Lawrence Bishnoi went viral, claiming responsibility for Sukha Duneke's killing and presenting it as revenge for the killings of Gurlal Brar, Vicky Middukhera and Sandeep Nangal Ambian.

These are all killings attributed to the Bambiha gang and part of their gang war with the Lawrence Bishnoi-Goldy Brar gang. This also allegedly includes the murder of singer Sidhu Moose Wala by the Bishnoi-Brar gang.

However, there is no confirmation as yet whether Bishnoi was involved in Duneke's killing. Often Punjab gangsters' supporters' claim responsibility for such killings on social media, just to 'boost the image' of their gang leader.

There's another theory. On Monday 18 September, a Congress leader from Moga district, Bajinder Singh Balli 'Nambardar' was killed in Dala village of Moga district.

A Facebook post attributed to Arsh Dala claimed responsibility for Balli's murder. The justification given was that Balli "introduced Dala to the world of crime" and was "troubling his mother".

Some are seeing Duneke's killing as revenge for Balli's murder.

Sources in the Punjab police say that the killing was a case of Punjab's gang wars spilling on to Canada with many of the gangsters being based there. They also say that there is no known information of Duneke having links with pro-Khalistan elements while in Punjab.

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