NIA books Gurpatwant Pannun over his video threatening Air India passengers
In a viral video Pannun had asked Sikhs to not fly by Air India planes on and after the said date, claiming threat to their lives if they did so.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday registered a case against Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, the founder of pro-Khalistan group Sikhs For Justice, over his video threatening passengers flying by Air India on November 19.
According to a statement released by the agency, Pannun has been booked under sections 120B, 153A & 506 of the Indian Penal Code and sections 10, 13, 16, 17, 18, 18B & 20 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
In a video released on November 4, Pannun had asked Sikhs to not fly by Air India planes on and after the said date, claiming threat to their lives if they did so.
He also threatened that Air India would not be allowed to operate in the world. Pannun’s assertions and threats have triggered a high alert as well as investigations by security forces in Canada, India and certain other countries where Air India flies, the agency said.
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Pannun had urged Sikhs to stop flying on Air India planes on and after the said date, citing potential threat to their lives. He also issued a warning to the Government of India that "The Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) would remain closed on the 19th of November." IGIA, located in New Delhi, is one of the world’s busiest airports, NIA added.
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The NIA said Pannun had been creating a false narrative around the issues prevailing in Punjab, especially with regard to Sikh religion, by promoting enmity between the Sikhs in the country and other communities.
“The latest threat is in line with the same narrative, which Pannun has actively promoted in the past by threatening & attempting to disrupt essential transportation network systems, including the Railways, as well as Thermal Power Plants in India", the central agency added.
On July 10, the home ministry had banned SFJ as an ‘unlawful association’ under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for its activities. On July 1, 2020, Pannun was listed as an ‘individual terrorist’ by the Centre.
Pannun has been under NIA lens since 2019, when the anti-terror agency registered its first case against him.
In September this year, the NIA had confiscated his share of the house and land of the lister terrorist in Amritsar (Punjab) and Chandigarh UT. Non-Bailable warrants of arrest were issued against Pannun by the NIA special court on 3rd February 2021 and he was declared a ‘Proclaimed Offender (PO)' on November 29 last year.