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‘Referendum 2020’ hoardings: Police plan to seek Interpol help on US-based Sikhs for Justice men

Punjab Police failed to get remand of the printer from a Mohali court.

punjab Updated: Jul 08, 2017 09:42 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Referendum 2020,Gurpatwant Singh Pannun,Punjab Sediton
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun , SFJ legal adviser(HT File)

A day after a sedition case against five persons over hoardings at several places in Punjab calling for a separatist ‘Referendum 2020’, police failed to get remand of the printer from a Mohali court on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Police headquarters is in the process of writing to the Union ministry of external affairs (MEA) to get issued a red corner notice from Interpol to arrest three US-based accused, including New York resident Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who is legal adviser of the outfit Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) that has called for the referendum essentially on the idea of a separate nation of Khalistan. The two others are Jagdeep Singh and Jagjeet Singh, also from New York.

After chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh issued “strict instructions” to the police to give no laxity to “Khalistani forces sitting outside India”, officials have made “detailed documentation” about seeking the notice. “We have enough leads that the three men were part of other Khalistani, anti-India activities too,” a senior officer said, adding that the communication will be sent “in a day or two”.

Police teams also conducted raids to nab more “Punjab-based Khalistani activists”, who allegedly assisted in spreading SFJ’s campaign whose full title is ‘Punjab Independence Referendum 2020’. Raids are being conducted in Haryana and J&K too.

In Mohali, though, in an embarrassing development for the police, a court refused to give them custody of a local resident arrested on Thursday. Instead, the court sent him to judicial custody.

Police had argued that they needed to interrogate Gurpeet Singh, who runs a printing press in Phase 5 of Mohali, to get to Jammu-based Harpunit Singh, the fifth named accused, who allegedly got the hoardings put up on Pannun’s directions.

After police sought Gurpreet’s custody for five days, his advocates TS Sudan and Gagan Aggarwal said he was wrongly framed as he had “just business relations with Harpunit Singh and printed hoardings in good faith, not with wrong intention”. He has no relations with the US-based activists, the counsels argued.

They also produced several court orders saying that printing something does not come under the definition of sedition. Also presented were emails that his company exchanged with Harpunit to prove that he was only given a work order for printing material.

First Published: Jul 07, 2017 23:35 IST