NIA charge sheets 16 persons based abroad for sedition

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) today filed a charge sheet against 16 people based in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada under the anti-terror law, UAPA, for allegedly indulging in seditious activities and promoting enmity on the grounds of region and religion in the country.
The NIA charge sheet alleged that the seven accused from the US, six from the UK and three from Canada were involved in an organised conspiracy for launching a concerted secessionist campaign under the banner of ‘Referendum 2020’ for the creation of ‘Khalistan’.
The charge sheet was filed under various Sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) before the designated court here.
The accused included Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Hardeep Singh Nijjar and Paramjit Singh who have been designated as terrorists by a Home Ministry notification under the anti-terror law. Pannun stays in the US, Nijjar is at present in Canada and Singh is in the UK.
The others named in the charge sheet are Avtar Singh Pannun, Harpreet Singh, Amardeep Singh Purewal, Harjaap Singh, Sarabjit Singh and S Himmat Singh (all from the US); Gurpreet Singh Baagi, Sarabjit Singh Bannur, Kulwant Singh Mothada, Dupinderjit Singh and Kulwant Singh (from the UK) and J S Dhaliwal and Jatinder Singh Grewal (from Canada).
These people, according to the NIA, are members of Sikh for Justice (SFJ), an organisation declared as ‘Unlawful Association’ under the UAPA.
According to the NIA spokesperson, the probe in the case showed 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 US, Canada, the UK, Australia, is a frontal organisation of Khalistan terrorist outfits operating from foreign soils including Pakistan.
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”, the NIA said.
The SFJ has been attempting to undermine the security of the Indian State by instigating Sikh personnel in the Indian army to rise in mutiny against India besides trying to radicalise youths of Kashmir and openly extending support for the secession of Kashmir from India, it said.
The spokesperson said that based on the dossiers provided by the NIA and other agencies, the chief patrons of SFJ namely Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Hardeep Singh Nijjar and Paramjit Singh alias Pamma have already been designated as ‘Terrorist’ under UAPA.
During the course of the investigation, the spokesperson said, “the NIA identified immovable properties belonging to terrorist Pannun in Amritsar and terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Jalandhar.
“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.”. (PTI)