Published On: Wed, Dec 9th, 2020

NIA chargesheets 16 foreign-based Sikhs for pro-Khalistan activities

New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday filed a chargesheet against 16 foreign-based persons in connection with its probe into an organised conspiracy by them to launch a concerted secessionist campaign under the banner of ‘Referendum 2020’ (Sikhs for Justice) for the creation of ‘Khalistan’.

Of the 21 people, 17 are from Kasargode district in the northern tip of Kerala

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Hardeep Singh Nijjar and Paramjit Singh have already been designated as ‘terrorist’

An NIA spokesperson said that the agency has named New York-based Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Avtar Singh Pannun, Harpreet Singh aka Rana Singh and S Himmat Singh, UK-based Gurpreet Singh Baagi, Paramjit Singh aka Pamma, Sarabjit Singh Bannur, Kulwant Singh Mothada, Kulwant Singh aka Kanta and Dupinderjit Singh, California-based Amardeep Singh Purewal aka Amardeep Singh Khalsa, Harjaap Singh aka Japhi Singh and Sarabjit Singh aka Sabi Singh and Canada-based JS Dhaliwal, Hardeep Singh Nijjar and Jatinder Singh Grewal.

The official said that 16 named accused are members of Sikh for Justice, an organisation declared as ‘unlawful association’ under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The official said that during investigation, it was revealed that Sikhs for Justice, a secessionist outfit floated in the garb of ‘human rights advocacy group’ with its offices in various foreign countries like the US, Canada, the UK, Australia etc., is a frontal organisation of Khalistani terrorist outfits operating from foreign soils, including Pakistan.

“Under this campaign, numerous social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, YouTube and a number of websites have been launched, which are being used to propagate sedition as well as enmity on the grounds of region and religion, to radicalise impressionable youth, to cause disturbance to peace and harmony and to raise funds for terrorist activities,” the official said.

The NIA official further said that the SFJ has been attempting to undermine the security of the India by instigating Sikh personnel in the Indian army to rise up in mutiny against India.

“The SFJ is also trying to radicalise the youth of Kashmir and openly extending support for secession of Kashmir from India,” the official said.

“Based on the dossiers provided by NIA and other agencies, the chief patrons of SFJ namely Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Hardeep Singh Nijjar and Paramjit Singh have already been designated as ‘terrorist’ under UA(P)Act,” the official said.

During the course of investigation, NIA identified immovable properties belonging to terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in Punjab’s Amritsar and terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s in Punjab’s Jalandhar.

On the request of NIA, the Ministry of Home Affairs, in exercise of powers conferred under UAPA, has ordered attachment of these properties, the official added.

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