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NIA registers FIR against Khalistani militant Nijjar for plotting terror strikes in Punjab

Nijjar’s name was on the list of wanted persons handed over to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh when the two met in Amritsar in February.

punjab Updated: May 06, 2018 22:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
NIA,Khalistani militant,Punjab
Khalistani militant Hardeep Singh Nijjar (Courtesy: Sikhs For Justice)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has registered a first information report (FIR) against Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Khalistani militant, for allegedly planning to carry out terrorist attacks in Punjab.

The NIA registered a case on May 2 in Delhi against Nijjar under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 124A (sedition) and 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc) of the IPC and Sections 10, 16 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, and Section 25 of Arms Act following on the recommendation of the Union home ministry. The details of the FIR are available on the NIA website.

The FIR states that Nijjar, a permanent resident of Surrey in Canada, along with the members of proscribed terrorist organisation Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), was planning to promote disharmony between different groups on grounds of religion and revive terrorism in Punjab. The report also states that Nijjar’s associates in India have been carrying out reconnaissance of gatherings of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh with an intention to target them and strike terror, states the report.

The NIA has registered the case on the basis of an FIR registered against Nijjar at the Dakha police station in Ludhiana in 2016.

Nijjar’s name was on the list of wanted persons handed over to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh when the two met in Amritsar in February.

In 2010, Punjab Police had registered an FIR against Nijjar for his role in the bomb explosion near Satya Narayan temple in Patiala on April 21, 2010. UK-based Khalistani terrorist Paramjit Singh Pamma was one of the main accused in the case. In 2015, another FIR was filed against Nijjar for his alleged role in targeting Hindu leaders in Punjab.

A lookout circular and Interpol’s Red Corner Notice were also issued against Nijjar in 2015 and 2016.

On April 13 this year, the Surrey unit of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police took Nijjar into custody but released him within 24 hours without any charges being filed.

Nijjar is being represented by Sikhs for Justice legal adviser Gurpatwant Pannun in his personal capacity, and also by Vancouver-based law firm Peck and Company. The founder of the legal firm, Richard Peck, had also represented one of the accused in the bombing of Air India flight 182, Ajaib Singh Bagri.

A Canadian media report quoted Pannun saying: “We will defend Nijjar and thwart Indian government’s attempt of terrorise Sikh separatists who are raising voices against atrocities committed against the Sikh community while being part of Sikhs’ rights to self determination campaign Referendum 2020. I am prepared to fight any attempt to extradite Nijjar to India.”

Indian authorities believe Nijjar to be linked to Khalistan Tiger Force and had communicated their concerns to Ottawa that he was allegedly conducting weapons training at a range in the locality of Mission City.

First Published: May 06, 2018 22:04 IST