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Farmer leader Baldev Singh Sirsa Summoned by NIA for Questioning

Baldev Singh Sirsa

Baldev Singh Sirsa

A NIA official confirmed the summons but claimed that Singh was being called as a witness.

Farmer leader Baldev Singh Sirsa, who has been part of the farm laws negotiations with Union government that were held at Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi, has been summoned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for questioning on January 17.

A NIA official confirmed the summons but claimed that Singh was being called as a witness. "Notice has been sent under Section 160 CRPC which is done for witness summon," the NIA official said.

The summons are in connection with NIA's FIR number 04/2020 registered on December 15, 2020, which alleges that Sikh For Justice, and other pro-Khalistan organisations like Khalisatan Zindabad Force, Babbar Khalsa International and Khalistan Tiger Force are “conspiring to create atmosphere of fear and lawlessness, to cause disaffection in people and to incite them towards rebellion against government of India."

The FIR claims that the groups proscribed under UAPA, "routed money through NGOs In furtherance of the above conspiracy , huge funds are being collected for on ground campaign and propaganda against government of india including staging protests outside indian missions in countries like US, UK, Cannada and Germany. "

NIA has named Gurpatwant singh Pannun, Paramjit Singh Pamma and Hardip Singh Nijjar for spearheading these campaigns.

"It has also been learnt that funds so collected are being routed through NGOs to pro khalistan elements in India to carry out disruptive and terror activities," the NIA said.

Others summoned by NIA with Sirsa are: journalists Baltej Panu and Jasvir Singh, Mandeep Singh Sidhu, Paramjit Singh Akali, Nobeljeet Singh, Jung Singh, Pradeep Singh, Surinder Singh Thikriwala, Palwinder Singh, Indrapal Singh, Ranjeet Singh Dumdumi Mint and Karnail Singh Dasuha.

An NIA spokesperson told News18 that 20 others have been summoned in this case over the next few days. Baldev Singh Sirsa is the president of Lok Bhalai Insaf Welfare Society which is one of the unions protesting against farm laws at Singhu border. Farmer union leaders on Friday had raised the issue of MHA related agencies and state police adopting “intimidating tactics to deter those associated or even not associated with the movement."

Kavitha Kuruganti, one of the leaders present at the meeting, said, "The government promised that it will address the issue of questioning by NIA/Home Ministry of GoI and lodging of FIRs against protestors in the movement by Haryana government and the incident in Andhra Pradesh where BJP and Bajrang Dal workers disrupted a farmers' protest etc. "

The Union government is expected to file an affidavit in Supreme Court by Monday on the alleged links of Sikh for Justice with the farmer agitation. Intelligence Bureau inputs which suggest that SFJ is funding the agitation, are also likely to be shared with the apex court.

first published:January 16, 2021, 11:10 IST