Singh sent back to Sikh temple that cared for him

Paralyzed refugee Laibar Singh was ordered released from custody yesterday into the care of the same Sikh temple that cared for him and granted him sanctuary from deportation more than six weeks ago.

Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) member Marc Tessler imposed strict conditions on Singh’s release, including a $50,000 bond and pledge to present himself to border agents at the end of his lawful stay in Canada.

He should be released today or tomorrow.


“There is always a degree of (flight) risk,” Tessler said. “But the risk has to be acceptable in the circumstances.”

A week earlier, the IRB had deemed the 48-year-old Punjabi man a flight risk and had ordered him detained until his supposed deportation on Monday.

Supporters had feared that Singh, who requires constant medical care, would die in India. However, a day before Singh’s deportation, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day granted him a 60-day stay in order to assess his health and his ability to travel.

Singh was originally ordered deported on July 8 and took sanctuary in the Abbotsford Sahib Kalgidhar Darbar Gurudwara. He was arrested at a hospital in Abbotsford on Aug. 13.