Government bans US-based pro-Khalistan group Sikhs for Justice
Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) - a US-based secessionist group that supports the cause of Khalistan has been pushing for Referendum 2020 for the self determination of Sikhs as part of its separatist agenda.Updated: Jul 10, 2019 21:10 IST
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday banned the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) - a US-based secessionist group that supports the cause of Khalistan.
SFJ, which was formed in 2007, has been active for the last four years. It has also been pushing for Referendum 2020 for the self determination of Sikhs as part of its separatist agenda.
“All major representatives bodies of the Sikh community, during consultations by the Government of India, have categorically supported the ban,” a senior official of the Union home ministry who didn’t want to be named said.
The National Investigation Agency, Punjab Police and Uttrakhand Police have registered as many 12 cases against activist of SFJ in India. Thirty nine people have been arrested in these 12 cases. “Their presence is minor in India. However, there is potential of mischief. The government decided to act proactively,” the official said.
“Once the organisation is banned NIA can take up the issue with their counterparts across the world for further actions,” the official said. “SFJ from time to time has been making numerous attempts to instigate Sikh soldiers and Sikh security personnel against the Union of India,” he added.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has welcomed the Centre’s decision to ban the SFJ as an unlawful association, describing it as the first step towards protecting the nation from the anti-India/secessionist designs of the ISI-backed organisation.
“Though the outfit deserved to be treated as a terrorist organisation, the Government of India had at least taken a long-overdue stand against SFJ, which had unleashed a wave of terror in Punjab in recent years,” he said in a statement in Chandigarh.
A UK-based SFJ activistParamjit Singh Pamma,, was seen during the recent India-England 2019 Cricket World Cup match at Edgbaston advocating the cause of Khalistan before he was evicted from the stands.
Pamma, according to Indian agencies, is member of a Khalistani terror group and has taken political asylum in the UK.
(With inputs from Ravinder Vasudeva in Chandigarh)