With Punjab Police filing an FIR against the ISI-backed Khalistan ideologue Gurpatwant Singh Pannu for “his continued attempts to promote violence in the state and assassination threats”, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday warned against any attempt to disturb the state’s peace, stability, and communal harmony.
Asserting that any bid by the banned Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and its self-styled General Council to create trouble in Punjab would be countered with the full might of his government, he said: “Nobody will be allowed to disturb the hard-earned peace of Punjab and again plunge our people into the dark abyss of the terrorism days, which took thousands of innocent lives.”
Noting that as the land of the Sikh gurus, who had always propagated the ideology of oneness of humanity, Punjab was home to all people, regardless of religion, caste and creed, the Chief Minister said: “Pannu’s pathetic attempts to once again fan hatred, divisiveness and violence in the name of religion and in the garb of a peaceful secessionist campaign for the attainment of Khalistan has already been strongly repudiated by the people of Punjab and India, who want to live and prosper in peace”.
All political leaders and parties had condemned Pannu’s ISI-funded campaign for a separate nation, he stressed.
The Chief Minister’s strong warning came as Punjab Police on Monday registered an FIR against Pannu for issuing an assassination threat against Amarinder Singh through a video posted on SFJ’s Facebook page.
The FIR was registered against Pannu, his associates, and SFJ members at State Cyber Crime Police Station in Mohali near here under Sections 10 (a) and 13 (1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967, besides sections 153, 153-A and Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code, said DGP Dinkar Gupta, adding Pannu had been found promoting violent extremist action, and threatening assassination of the Chief Minister, an elected constitutional head of government of the state of Punjab.
Citing preliminary investigations into the video posted on August 28, the DGP said the said video clearly suggested a criminal conspiracy against the Chief Minister, who was shown in the video as being targeted with bullets. Further investigations were underway to unearth the complete conspiracy, he added.
The SFJ had in July also issued a threat against Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, claiming that the outfit will not allow him to hoist the national flag on Independence Day. Himachal Police had then registered an FIR against Pannu.
The Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), a pro-Khalistani outfit based in the US, was declared as ‘unlawful association’ by the Indian government on July 10, 2019, after it was found to be indulging in activities prejudicial to internal security of India and the public order and having the potential of disrupting peace, unity and integrity of the country.
It had been found involved in anti-national and subversive activities in Punjab and elsewhere under the garb of a peaceful campaign to form a sovereign Khalistan, out of the Indian territory. The outfit was also found to be in close touch with members of militant outfits and radical organisations or elements involved in fomenting strife in Punjab.