National Investigation Agency on Wednesday has filed a chargesheet against sixteen foreign-based Khalistanis in the Referendum 2020 (Sikhs For Justice) case under various relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Assembly (Prevention) Act in connection to their alleged involvement in seditious activities and promoting enmity on the grounds of religion and region.
“NIA filed chargesheets against 16 accused persons before the NIA Special Court, New Delhi in Sikhs for Justice case registered under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The case pertains to organised conspiracy by the accused for launching a concerted secessionist campaign under the banner of ‘Referendum 2020’ for creation of ‘Khalistan’,” said an official press release from NIA.
The press release also stated, “The 16 individuals are members of Sikh for Justice, an organisation declared as ‘Unlawful Association’ under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Investigation in the case has 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 USA, Canada, the UK, Australia etc is a frontal organisation of Khalistan terrorist outfits operating from foreign soils including Pakistan.”
Among the sixteen accused, seven are from the United States, six from the United Kingdom, and three from Canada. They have been charged under the anti-terror UAPA and have been declared as Unlawful association.
A Home Ministry notification has designated the three accused including Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, and Paramjit Singh as terrorists under anti-terror law.
The other accused named in the chargesheet includes Avtar Singh Pannun, Harpreet Singh, Amardeep Singh Purewal, Harjaap Singh, Sarabjit Singh and S. Himmat Singh, Gurpreet Singh Baagi, Sarabjit Singh Bannur, Kulwant Singh Mothada, Dupinderjit Singh and Kulwant Singh, J.S. Dhaliwal and Jatinder Singh Grewal.
“Under this campaign, numerous social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, YouTube Channels 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,” NIA said.
NIA has also stated that they have identified the immovable properties belonging to the declared terrorists Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Jalandhar and Pannum in Amritsar.
“Based on the request of NIA, the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, in exercise of powers conferred under Section 51-A of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967, has ordered attachment of these properties,” the central investigation agency said.