New Delhi: In a significant development, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday filed a chargesheet against 16 foreign-based individuals with their roots in Punjab alleging organised conspiracy to launch a secessionist campaign under the banner of 'Referendum 2020' (Sikhs for Justice) for the creation of Khalistan.
US-based Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Avtar Singh Pannun, Harpreet Singh aka Rana Singh and S. Himmat Singh, Amardeep Singh Purewal aka Amardeep Singh Khalsa, Harjaap Singh aka Japhi Singh and Sarabjit Singh aka Sabi Singh London-based Gurpreet Singh Baagi, Paramjit Singh aka Pamma, Sarabjit Singh Bannur, Kulwant Singh Mothada, Kulwant Singh aka Kanta and Dupinderjit Singh, and Torronto-based JS Dhaliwal, Hardeep Singh Nijjar and Jatinder Singh Grewal are named in the chargesheet, said an NIA spokesperson.
The accused are alleged of links with Sikh for Justice, an outfit designated as 'unlawful association' under the UAPA Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The NIA spokesperson said that during investigation, it was revealed that Sikhs for Justice, a secessionist outfit floated in the garb of 'human rights advocacy group' with its offices in various foreign countries like the US, Canada, the UK, Australia etc., is a frontal organisation of Khalistani terrorist outfits operating from foreign soils, including Pakistan.
"Under this campaign, numerous social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, YouTube and a number of websites have been launched, which are being used to propagate sedition as well as enmity on the grounds of region and religion, to radicalise impressionable youth, to cause disturbance to peace and harmony and to raise funds for terrorist activities," the official said.
The NIA official further said that the SFJ has been attempting to undermine the security of the India by instigating Sikh personnel in the Indian army to rise up in mutiny against India.
Meanwhile, it is intriguing that the development comes in the wake of intensifying farm protest in the national capital. The Central government is under strong pressure as the farmers have warned of blocking roads leading to Delhi one by one.
The farmers, who on Wednesday rejected a proposal put forward by the Centre, has declared of staging a stronger protest on 14 December.
(Based on agency inputs)