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India bans US-based SFJ

Posted in S. Asia

Published on July 12, 2019 with No Comments

The Indian government has 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.

 

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