Amidst the ongoing diplomatic tensions between India and Canada over Khalistanis, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) cracked down on the most-wanted Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
Pannun is the supremo of the banned outfit Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and is wanted for various anti-India activities, including attacks on diplomatic buildings around the world.
The anti-terror federal agency NIA confiscated his properties in Chandigarh and Amritsar in Punjab on 23 September. The properties include agricultural land in his ancestral village Khankot, near Amritsar, and a share of a house in sector 15/C in Chandigarh.
NIA raids against Pannun
The raid happened amidst the ongoing diplomatic tension between India and Canada and days after he threatened Indian Hindus residing in Canada to leave. He had also issued threats to Indian diplomatic buildings across Canada.
The NIA had approached a special court for the confiscation of the immovable properties belonging to Pannun under section 33(5) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1967, an official release said.
The banned organisation SFJ, run by a few radical Sikhs of foreign nationality in the US, Canada, the UK, etc., was declared unlawful under the provisions of Section 3(1) of UAPA.
SFJ declared unlawful
The Centre, by its 10 July 2019 notification, had declared SFJ an unlawful association and had banned it for five years, saying that the group’s primary objective was to establish an “independent and sovereign country” in Punjab and it openly supports the cause of Khalistan and in that process, challenges the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India.
Multiple agencies have filed cases against Pannun, who has been declared as an “individual terrorist” under the fourth schedule of UAPA.
“Pannun is accused in case RC-19/2020/NIA/DLI, dated 5 April 2020 under Sections 120-B, 124-A, 153-A 153-B and 17, 18 and 19 of UAPA. The case relates to funding of terrorist activities in Punjab from abroad, creating disharmony among communities and radicalising youth for terrorist activities,” said the NIA.
Pannun has been known to fund and support anti-India activities across the globe and has been riding on a high since last week. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations that New Delhi had a hand in the murder of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar have given his mala fide intentions a new boost.
Both countries have so far expelled a senior diplomat and India has suspended visa services to Canada. The allegations have out-rightly been rejected by New Delhi as “absurd” and “motivated”.