B.C. Sikh man invited to state event in India charged with uttering threats


Jaspal Atwal, right, speaks to his lawyer Rishi T. Gill during a news conference in downtown Vancouver, on Thursday, March, 8, 2018. Atwal said Thursday that since he was convicted of trying to kill an Indian cabinet minister in 1986, he has tried to contribute to Canadian society and those efforts include meeting politicians from various parties. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

A man who caused a furor when he attended an event during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s state visit to India this year has been charged with uttering threats in Surrey, B.C.

Marvin Stern, a lawyer for Jaspal Atwal, says the charge of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm was laid against his client following an alleged argument on April 23.

Bail was granted and Stern says Atwal is scheduled to return to provincial court in Surrey on May 24 to set a date for a trial.

Stern says the complainant in the case is a broadcaster at a Punjabi radio station.

Stern says his client will plead not guilty and will “vehemently deny these events.”

Atwal was convicted of trying to kill an Indian cabinet minister in 1986.

He told a news conference in March that he was one of many who got “caught up” in the Sikh separatism movement almost 40 years ago, but has since renounced terrorism.

Atwal was photographed with the prime minister’s wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau at an event in Mumbai during the state visit in February.

His invitation to a second event was rescinded after news of his presence broke.