In probe against Khalistanis, NIA examines people linked to farmers’ protests

Published on Jan 18, 2021 11:57 PM IST

NIA officials said that most of the people who appeared before the agency in the last few days, have been examined as “witnesses”.

File photo: NIA logo.(ANI)
File photo: NIA logo.(ANI)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday questioned about seven people associated with the farmers’ protests in connection with a case related to an organisation called Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), which advocates secessionism and is allegedly aiding the protesters, people familiar with the development said.

Without disclosing their names, NIA officials, who didn’t want to be named, said about 6-7 people were examined on Monday while few were questioned earlier.

Most of the people, who appeared before the NIA in last few days, have been examined as “witnesses”, they said.

“We have no plans to harass any activists or farm leaders. We are just seeking some clarifications regarding certain information we have,” one of the officers said.

About three dozen people including farm leaders, Sikh activities, journalists and even those belonging to entertainment industry in Punjab have been summoned by the NIA as witnesses.

Certain farm leaders including Baldev Singh Sirsa have refused to join the NIA investigations after Samyukt Kisan Morcha decided that no farmer who has received the NIA notice will appear before it.

The agency is particularly looking into the funding of SFJ and other Khalistani groups for organising protests both in India as well as abroad outside Indian missions.

In its summons sent to these three dozen people, seen by HT, NIA has said that they need to attend the examination as “it appears they are acquainted with the circumstances of this case”.

As first reported by HT on December 23 last year, NIA had filed a case on December 15 to investigate funding of Khalistani terrorist groups organising on ground campaigns and demonstrations, as well as role of some Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) in it. The agency had named as accused US-based Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, UK- based Paramjit Singh Pamma and Canada resident Hardeep Singh Nijjar who, under the banner of Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), are allegedly collecting funds for these protests.

Jasveer Singh, a journalist with UK based channel - KTV - said - “I have been covering the farmers’ protests for two months but I was surprised to receive summons from the agency. I couldn’t go today but I will join the NIA examination on the next date as I have nothing to hide”.

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