Two pro-Khalistan supporters, Sukhwinder Singh and Gurdeep Singh, have been charged for the attack on DSGMC chief and Akali leader Manjit Singh GK by California’s Sutter County Sheriff’s office.
The two men, residents of California, have been closely working with the “Referendum 2020” campaign seeking a separate Khalistan.
California police have brought charges of offence of ‘battery’ against the two for reportedly attacking GK during his visit to the Yuba City gurdwara on August 25.
The next day, GK and his delegation, which was visiting the US to spread the message of Sikhism to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, were also attacked and stopped from entering a gurdwara in San Jose by pro-Khalistan campaigners.
However, Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Badal, who led a delegation on Monday to meet with US Ambassador Kenneth Juster to seek action against perpetrators of the attacks , blamed Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party for inciting violence against the delegation led by GK.
He was also scheduled to interact with SAD workers at the San Jose gurdwara.
Steering away from the internal political bickering, Ambassador Juster later tweeted, “We assured Minister Badal that incidents of violence in the United States are taken seriously and fully investigated by local law enforcement authorities.”
Sukhwinder Singh and Gurdeep Singh, residents of California, have been charged with the offence of ‘battery’ under Section 242 of California’s Penal Code involving “any wilful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another”.
Under California’s law, battery is “punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000) or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or both”.
The date for first hearing has been set for October 15 before Sutter County Superior Court, Yuba City, in California.
However, the Sikhs for Justice, a pro-Khalistan outfit, has cried foul and said it will defend the two accused in a court of law.
In a statement issued, SFJ legal attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who operates out of New York, said, “All evidence and videos show that GK’s henchman Puneet Chandok instigated the violence against the referendum campaigners who were exercising their right of protest protected under the First Amendment of the US Constitution.”
Earlier on Monday, in a representation to Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Secretary Department of Homeland Security, SFJ urged that visa of GK, head of Delhi wing of SAD-Badal, should be revoked for “engaging in political propaganda on behalf of a foreign principal without registering as required under “Foreign Agents Registration Act” (22 USC Section 611(C)).