Two SFJ operatives nabbed by Punjab police for anti-India slogans

Slogans including 'Boycott Air India', 'Khalistan Zindabad' and 'SFJ Zindabad' were seen at various places in Bathinda during Independence Day

ByAayush Goel

Published Dec 05, 2023 | 1:35 PMUpdatedDec 05, 2023 | 1:35 PM

Anti India slogans

In a major crackdown against the Khalistani extremists’ defacement terrorism, Punjab police have arrested two operatives of the banned terrorist outfit Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) for writing anti-national slogans at public places in Punjab and adjoining states.

According to information provided by the police, those arrested have been identified as Harmanpreet Singh and Lovepreet Singh. The police have also recovered three cans of black spray, one Khalistan flag, and one motorcycle from their possession.

Elaborating on the arrests, Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Gaurav Yadav said that during questioning, the accused confessed that they were working for the SFJ and were in touch with one of their associate, Jagjit Singh, who used to send money to SFJ activists in India on behalf of its supremo and Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Pannun.

Preliminary investigations revealed that both the arrested persons had received ₹1.25 lakh in various instalments through Western Union from SFJ to carry out these tasks.

Also read: Punjab police raid Canada-based terrorist Landa’s close associates

Anti-India slogans

Recently, slogans including “Boycott Air India”, “Khalistan Zindabad” and “SFJ Zindabad” were seen at various places in district Bathinda during Independence Day, Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh during the Cricket World Cup match, Hanumangarh Railway Station in Rajasthan, and during Gurupurab in Amritsar.

“We were trailing the defacement activities for a long time and managed to zero down on these two. Financial transactions have been traced and followed. The accused have confessed defacement and we are interrogating them to get more leads on the network,” said DGP Yadav.

Sharing more details, Bathinda Counter Intelligence Assistant Inspector-General (AIG) Avneet Kaur Sidhu said, “Following the inputs about the movement of two persons linked with SFJ, our police teams laid a special naka (barricade) at Bathinda-Badal road and arrested both the accused persons when they were travelling on their motorcycle.”

Also Read: NIA cracks down on Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Pannun

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun

It may be noted that in July 2020, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun was declared an “individual terrorist” under the terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for promoting secessionism and allegedly encouraging Punjabi Sikh youth to take up arms.

He tops the wanted list of Indian Intelligence agencies. Pannun has been at the forefront of vandalisation attacks on Indian diplomatic buildings in the US, Canada and Australia earlier this year and had recently issued a threat to blast an Air India flight.

He is accused of constant defacement of Hindu temples and public spots with anti-India slogans and radicalising local youth. Pannum hit headlines a few days ago following the US Justice Department charging a 52-year-old Indian national, Nikhil Gupta, over his involvement in an alleged murder plot against him.

A press release by the US Justice Department, quoting court documents, said, “Earlier this year, an Indian government employee, working together with others, including Gupta, in India and elsewhere, directed a plot to assassinate on US soil an attorney and political activist who is a US citizen of Indian-origin residing in New York City”.

The US officials added the Indian government agency employee has variously described himself as a “Senior Field Officer” with responsibilities in “Security Management” and “Intelligence”.