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NIA files chargesheet against 16 Khalistani operatives

The SFJ has been attempting to undermine the security of the Indian State by instigating Sikh personnel in the Indian Army to rise up in mutiny against India, said NIA
hemin Joy
Last Updated : 09 December 2020, 16:10 IST
Last Updated : 09 December 2020, 16:10 IST
Last Updated : 09 December 2020, 16:10 IST
Last Updated : 09 December 2020, 16:10 IST

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday filed a chargesheet against 16 Khalistani operatives based in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada in connection for launching a "concerted secessionist campaign' under the banner of Referendum 2020 for creating Khalistan.

The chargesheet said that Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a "secessionist outfit floated in the garb of human rights advocacy group", spearheaded the campaign and was a frontal organisation of Khalistan terrorist outfits operating from countries, including Pakistan. The SFJ has its offices in the US, the UK, Canada and Australia among others.

Those named in the chargesheet filed in a Delhi special court include Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Avtar Singh Pannun, Gurpreet Singh Baagi, Harpreet Singh, Paramjit Singh, Sarabjit Singh Bannur, Amardeep Singh Purewal and JS Dhaliwal.

The others are Kulwant Singh Mothada, Dupinderjit Singh, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Kulwant Singh, Harjaap Singh, Sarabjit Singh, Jatinder Singh Grewal and Himmat Singh.

While the SFJ was declared a terrorist organisation in July 2019, Pannun, Nijjar and Paramjit Singh were designated as terrorists under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on July 1 this year.

Under the Referendum campaign, the NIA claimed, social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, YouTube and a number of websites have been launched.

They were used to "propagate sedition as well as enmity on the ground of region and religion, radicalise impressionable youth and cause disturbance to peace and harmony and to raise funds for terrorist activities".

The SFJ has been attempting to undermine the security of the Indian State by instigating Sikh personnel in the Indian Army to rise up in mutiny against India. It was also trying to radicalise youth of Kashmir and openly extending support for secession of Kashmir from India, the NIA said.

During investigations, the NIA said, it had identified immovable properties belonging to Pannun in Amritsar and Nijjar in Jalandhar and were attached on September 8.

On July 5, the government also blocked 40 websites of 'Sikhs for Justice', a day after the SFJ launched an online campaign for registering voters for its 'Referendum 2020'.

Pannun, who is named in the chargesheet is spearheading the 'Referendum 2020', has been "found actively" in touch with UK-based Babbar Khalsa operative Paramjit Singh, Canada-based Khalistan Tiger Force's Hardeep Singh Nijjar and International Sikh Youth Federation's Malkit Singh Fauji besides Punjab-based "hardliners".

The notification designating Pannun as a terrorist said he has been issuing appeals through social media to "Punjab-based gangsters and youth to fight for the cause of the independent state of Khalistan, challenging the sovereignty, integrity and security of the country He has demanded and advocating a separate State Khalistan".

Paramjit Singh was involved in Kanishka bombing in 1985, assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh in 1995, bomb blast in Delhi Liberty and Satyam cinema halls in 2005 and Shingar cinema hall in Ludhiana in 2007.

Nijjar is actively involved in operationalizing, networking, training and financing Khalistan Tiger Force module members, according to the notification branding him as a terrorist.

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Published 09 December 2020, 16:03 IST

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