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The Centre on Tuesday ordered attachment of Punjab-based immovable properties of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and Hardeep Singh Nijjar, key handlers of pro-Khalistan secessionist group — Sikhs For Justice’s (SFJ) — who were designated terrorists in July.

In exercise of powers conferred under Section 51A of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967, the Centre has ordered for attachment of the immovable properties of Pannun in district Amritsar and Nijjar in district Jalandhar.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is investigating a case relating to a concerted campaign launched by the secessionist organisation under the banner of ‘Sikh Referendum 2020’ for the creation of so-called ‘Khalistan’, had identified these properties during the investigation.

Banned SFJ eyes J&K for 'Referendum 2020' campaign. (Photo: Aritra/IANS) by .
Banned SFJ eyes J&K for ‘Referendum 2020’ campaign. (Photo: Aritra/IANS)

Based on the NIA’s recommendation, the Central government ordered the attachment of these properties under the provisions of the UA(P)Act, 1967.

Pannun’s properties include 46 Kanal of land in the Khankot village in Amritsar and 11 Kanal 13.5 Marla in Sultanwind Suburban in Bhainiwal area in the same district. Nijjar’s properties have been identified as 11 Kanal 13 Marla of land in Bhar village in Jalandhar’s Singhpura.

The SFJ, headed by US based terrorist Pannun, is presently making efforts to propagate ‘Sikh Referendum-2020’ on social media, the NIA said, adding this outfit is also trying to hold meetings at certain places in the US and other countries to instigate and mobilise the diaspora for their illegal activities.

Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) declared the SFJ as an ‘Unlawful Association’ under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 through a notification issued on July 10 last year.

Lord Nazir Ahmed and banned SFJ president Gurpatwant Pannun at the press conference

Significantly, the MHA, as per the notification dated July 1 this year designated Pannun, Nijjar and seven other pro-Khalistanis as ‘terrorists’ in the Fourth Schedule to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

Meanwhile, security agencies have issued alert to law enforcement agencies and police in Punjab after the banned Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) group in its letter to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has announced ‘Rail Roko’ (stop trains) call on September 13.

In an email letter to Goyal on Monday morning, US-based SFJ’s Attorney and General Counsel Gurpatwant Singh Pannun has cautioned the minister to “cancel all trains in Punjab on September 13 to avoid any mishap”.

The SFJ also claimed in the letter to receive “overwhelming response from the farmers who have expressed their intention to effectuate the ‘Rail Roko’ call through ‘chain pulling’ on the trains and ‘dharnas’ (protests) on the tracks throughout Punjab”.

Last week, the group has launched a voter registration App on Google play store.

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SFJ aligns with Chinese

The Google App “Voice Punjab 2020” as per the banned organisation is launched to commemorate the 25th martyrdom day of Dilawar Singh — the assassin of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.

Congress leader Beant Singh, who has been the Chief Minister of Punjab from 1992 to 1995, and 16 others were killed in a car bombing outside the Civil Secretariat in Chandigarh on August 31, 1995. Dilawar Singh, a Punjab Police officer, had acted as a suicide bomber to assassinate Beant Singh. The 1984 anti-Sikh riots was learnt to be the reason behind the killing of Beant Singh.

SFJ’s move has left the intelligence and law enforcement agencies into a tizzy as the application is available for download on the Google play store.

Incorporating the same details as the ‘Referendum 2020’ voter registration form for people in India, the mobile app facilitates the user to register as a voter for the anti-India campaign.

Citing the UN Charter, the description of the app on the Google play store states that ‘Voice Punjab 2020’ is an App to facilitate voter registration for non-governmental Punjab Independence Referendum 2020 which is being organized Under Article 1 of UN Charter which gives all peoples right to “self-determination” making it difficult for India to get the app banned and removed.

However, the security agencies with the help of the Information and Technology Ministry and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) are in the process of getting in touch with Google so that the App can be banned.

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