Purewal, editor and publisher of Punjabi-language newspaper Desh Pardesh, was shot and killed near his newspaper’s office in London’s Southall neighborhood. Desh Pardesh is Britain’s largest circulation Punjabi-language newspaper. Purewal supported a Sikh homeland but was critical of the tactics employed by some to achieve this end.
In 1998, Tara Singh Hayer the publisher of the Punjabi-language Indo-Canadian Times, was shot dead in the garage of his home. He too had been an outspoken critic of violent Sikh fundamentalism both in Canada and India. In a 1998 letter to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, CPJ wrote these two murders suggest possible coordinated action to silence Sikh journalists who criticize fundamentalism.