Centre bans Sikh For Justice for anti-national activities

SFJ is espousing secessionism and militant ideology, says government

[File] Supporters of pro-Khalistan movement at an event at Trafalgar Square in London | AFP [File] Supporters of pro-Khalistan movement at an event at Trafalgar Square in London | AFP

Khalistan militant Paramjit Singh Pamma was spotted at the recent India-England Cricket World Cup match, sporting a T-shirt supporting the Khalistan cause. This has set the alarm bells ringing in the North Block. Pamma enjoys political asylum in the UK, but after his appearance in the stadium, Indian agencies ensured he is evicted out by the UK law enforcement agencies. 

Pamma, who roams freely in the UK, is a wanted man in India. New Delhi’s extradition bid to bring him back from Portugal in 2016 had failed and ever since then he enjoys political asylum in the UK.

But the noose is tightening around Pamma and his associates like Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and Harmeet Singh, and other handlers of the Sikh For Justice forum. Gurpatwant, the main promoter of Khalistan movement, is based in New York.

On Wednesday, the Centre banned the SFJ, saying that the outfit is espousing secessionism and militant ideology with nearly two lakh online supporters. 

The Centre issued a strong warning to fringe organisations that it would not tolerate any anti-national activity on foreign soil. A senior MHA official said the SFJ espoused Khalistan cause and it had started a campaign on social media for referendum 2020. Its activities are going on in countries like the US, Canada, and the UK. The outfit has been banned under the unlawful activities prevention act.

Sikh bodies had supported the ban, said an MHA official.

This was a reflection of the central government's zero policy on secessionist and separatist activities, said the official.

The NIA probe has revealed that the SFJ handlers are radicalising youth and promoting secessionism and militant activities on foreign soil and are also supported by inimical forces abroad. The NIA and Punjab Police have registered eleven cases against them.

“The government stands for sabka saath, sabka vikas and sabka vishwas. We are committed to the Kartarpur corridor and the work will be completed by October 2019. But we are also keeping a watch on such militant outfits who may try to influence and radicalise people,” said the official.