Friday, November 27, 2020
ADVT 
India

Pro-Khalistani Group 'Sikhs For Justice' Banned In India Over 'Anti-National' Activities; Punjab CM Lauds Move

Darpan News Desk IANS, 10 Jul, 2019

    India on Wednesday declared foreign-based, pro-Khalistan group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) an unlawful association for supporting militancy and secessionism in Punjab.


    The decision, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, was taken in a Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


    The fringe group is run by a few radical Sikhs of foreign nationality in the US, Canada and the UK, a Home Ministry statement said, adding that all the major representative bodies of the Sikh community, during consultations by the Centre, have categorically supported the government action.


    The Ministry said that SFJ is a New York-based fringe group run by a few radical foreign Sikhs and doesn't have any support or traction in the Sikh community.


    "It openly espouses the cause of Khalistan and has started an online secessionist campaign, the so-called 'Sikh Referendum 2020' on the social media advocating secession of Punjab and formation of Khalistan," it said.

     

    Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh hailed the Union government's decision, saying the group deserved to be treated as a "terrorist organisation".


    Singh termed the move as the first step towards protecting the nation from "anti-India or secessionist designs" of the ISI-backed organisation.


    "Though the outfit deserved to be treated as a terrorist organisation, the government of India has at least taken a long-overdue stand against the SFJ, which had unleashed a wave of terror in Punjab in recent years," Singh said in a statement issued here.


    With this step, the Centre has finally shown its much-needed intent to crack down on the organisation, which was "overtly being backed by Pakistan's ISI in its conspiratorial campaign" over 'Sikh Referendum 2020', launched in 2014, said the CM.


    He, however, asserted that the central government would have to take more proactive measures to aggressively crack down on SFJ and its affiliates or operatives in the interest of national security.


    "SFJ's activities went beyond being unlawful and posed a major threat to the very existence of our nation," said Singh.


    The ban of the SFJ is said to be the part of Centre's "Zero Tolerance" policy against secessionist and extremist elements.


    The Ministry said that the group is supporting militancy in Punjab and indulging in activities aimed at vitiating communal harmony in the border state.


    The step came after the Punjab Police and National Investigation Agency (NIA) busted several modules of the SFJ indulged in various subversive activities in Punjab.


    Investigations have revealed that the activists were radicalized and funded by the foreign-based SFJ handlers Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Harmeet Singh, Parmjit Singh Pamma and some other six-seven more persons attached to the group.


    "Close and effective coordination between intelligence and security agencies at the Centre and the state level is being maintained. Concerted efforts are also being made to proscribe the unlawful activities of the global arms of the organization and its activists under the relevant local laws of those nations," said the Ministry.


    Extremist ideology, whether based on religious, ethnic or political grounds, pose security challenges, and the government is bound to deal with them firmly, it added.


    Highly-placed sources said that the group was formed in 2007 with Avtar Singh Pannun as its President and Gurpatwant Singh Pannun as its legal advisor.


    Both the Pannuns, along with a few other individuals in the UK, Canada and Germany were learnt to, in the garb of the Sikh cause, conducting a pro-Khalistan campaign online and inciting disruptive and militant activities in Punjab, said a source, requesting anonymity.


    In the garb of so-called referendum for Sikhs, the source said, the SFJ is actually espousing secessionism and militant ideology in Punjab, while operating from safe havens on foreign soils and actively supported by inimical forces in other countries.


    While relentlessly pursuing action against anti-national elements, the Ministry said, the Central government stands for "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas (development for all) and Sabka Vishwas (trust of everyone)".


    In this direction, the Ministry said the government has started a number of activities to celebrate 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev from November 2018 in a "befitting manner", including completing the corridor to the revered Kartarpur Sahib gurudwara in Pakistan.

     

    MORE India ARTICLES

    One Killed, 7 Hurt in Blast at Chemical Factory in Punjab's Mohali

    The explosion, caused by a short circuit, took place between 11 and 12 noon at Punjab Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Limited in Mohali's Dera Bassi, about 30 km from here, police said.

    One Killed, 7 Hurt in Blast at Chemical Factory in Punjab's Mohali

    Shabana Azmi Responds To Criticism Over ‘Anti-national’ Remark

    Shabana Azmi, who came under fire for her remarks that if anyone criticises the government they are dubbed as anti-national, on Tuesday attacked religious fundamentalists in her response to the criticism.

    Shabana Azmi Responds To Criticism Over ‘Anti-national’ Remark

    Delhi HC Declines Plea On Making Marital Rape A Ground For Divorce

    Delhi HC Declines Plea On Making Marital Rape A Ground For Divorce

    The Delhi High Court on Tuesday declined to entertain a plea seeking direction to the Centre to frame guidelines for registration of FIR for marital rape as also laws for making it a ground for divorce.

    Delhi HC Declines Plea On Making Marital Rape A Ground For Divorce

    'Story Of Ancient Dwarka An Important Religious Tale'

    American adventurer and TV host Josh Gates has embarked on an epic adventure in India, in search of the truth behind the fabled city of Dwarka. He says the story of ancient Dwarka is an "important religious tale".

    'Story Of Ancient Dwarka An Important Religious Tale'

    Saravana Bhavan Owner Surrenders To Serve Life Term In Employee Murder Case

    Saravana Bhavan owner P Rajagopal, who was to surrender by July 7, had sought more time citing health complications.

    Saravana Bhavan Owner Surrenders To Serve Life Term In Employee Murder Case

    PM Modi Told Me To Practice As A Child: Gujarati Folk Singer Meets PM

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday appreciated the efforts of Gujarati folk singer Geeta Rabari soon after they met at the Parliament. Rabari met the Prime Minister after her song dedicated to "Rona Sherma" completed 25 crores views.

    PM Modi Told Me To Practice As A Child: Gujarati Folk Singer Meets PM

    PrevNext