Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Posted at: Jul 11, 2019, 6:52 AM; last updated: Jul 11, 2019, 9:51 AM (IST)

Centre bans US-based SFJ

Says decision largely driven by Punjab Govt report
Centre bans US-based SFJ
SFJ legal head and spokesperson Gurpatwant Pannun. Twitter.

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 10

The government today banned Sikhs for Justice (SFJ),  a US-based group that supports the cause of Khalistan, for its other anti-national activities. A senior official in the Ministry of Home Affairs said the decision to ban the outfit under Section 3(1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,1967, was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by PM Narendra Modi.

Noting that SFJ’s primary objective was to establish an “independent and sovereign country” in Punjab,  the official said, a strong warning had been sent to “fringe groups operating from foreign soils that India will not tolerate secessionist activities, whether carried out in India or abroad” and would take strong action against such entities.

He also said the ban decision was taken after wide consultations with “all major representative bodies of the Sikh community” and was “largely driven” by the report the Centre had received from the Punjab Government”. The National Investigation Agency (NIA), Punjab Police and Uttarakhand Police have registered 12 cases against SFJ actvists in India and made 39 arrests. “Their presence is minor in India. However, there is potential of mischief and, hence, the decision,” the official said.

“Once the organisation is banned, the NIA can take up the issue with its counterparts across the world for further action,” he said, adding: “SFJ from time to time has been making numerous attempts to instigate Sikh soldiers and Sikh security personnel against the Union of India.”

UK-based SFJ activist Paramjit Singh Pamma was seen during the Cricket World Cup match at Edgbaston advocating the cause of Khalistan before he was evicted. Pamma, say agencies, is member of a Khalistan terror group. “The banned outfit has openly been espousing the cause of Khalistan and has started an online secessionist campaign, the so-called ‘Sikh Referendum 2020’ on the social media,” the MHA official said. 

Move comes weeks after DGP threatened

Chandigarh: Weeks after SFJ threatened Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta, India on Wednesday banned the outfit. Besides Punjab, cases of sedition and terror activities have been filed against it in UP and MP. Earlier, the UK had suspended/blocked SFJ’s Twitter handle and other social media accounts on India’s insistence. Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh had at a meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah apprised him of the SFJ designs which had issued video threats to Punjab Police officials, asking them to “stop harassing” SFJ activists or else their relatives living abroad would be targeted. The Punjab CM said the outfit deserved to be banned as a terror organisation. AAP too supported the ban. SFJ had shared a poster on the social media last week, urging pro-Khalistan Sikhs to boo Indian Team during the World Cup semifinal. — Jupinder Singh

Step in right direction

First step towards protecting the nation from anti-India and secessionist designs of ISI-backed organisation. — Capt Amarinder Singh, CM


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