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India Gives Pakistan Detailed Proof of Pro-Khalistani Leaders Radicalising Sikh Pilgrims, Seeks Action

The dossier has listed date-wise incidents from 2016 to 2019 when Sikh pilgrims visiting Pakistan were exposed to Khalistani propaganda and anti-India activities.

Arunima | CNN-News18Arunima24

Updated:July 19, 2019, 12:05 AM IST
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New Delhi: A week after Gopal Singh Chawla was removed from the Pakistan’s Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, India has demanded further action against him and other Khalistanis.

India has handed over a 23-page dossier to Pakistan with details of Khalistani secessionists who have been radicalising Sikh pilgrims visiting Nankana Saheb and Panja Saheb gurudwaras in Pakistan.

The dossier accessed by CNN-News18 shows a picture of Chawla burning the Indian flag on its cover page. Other images in it show Khalistani posters espousing 20-20 referendum, anti-India and Kashmir-centric slogans. India has also placed before Pakistan photographs that show Chawla meeting Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD) chief Hafiz Saeed.

The dossier has listed date-wise incidents from 2016 to 2019 when Sikh pilgrims visiting Pakistan were exposed to Khalistani propaganda. It accuses the Pakistani government of actively supporting such anti-India activities.

"Propaganda against India perpetuated by evacuee trust property board at religious functions," it says, adding that during Guru Nanak Dev’s birthday celebrations in November 2016, "Sardar Mohammed Yousuf, federal minister for religious affairs, eulogised Burhan Wani and told Sikh pilgrims in an address that Sikhs and Kashmiris are treated like ‘slaves’ by the Indian government".

At the same meeting, Chawla had asked Sikh pilgrims to revolt against the Supreme Court's decision in an inter-state water agreement involving Punjab and raised anti-India slogans from the dais.

Quoting another instance from November 14, 2016, India has said, “Dring Nagar Kirtan on November 14, pro-Khalistan groups carried banners depicting photos of (Jarnail Singh) Bhindranwale and Subheg Singh.”

While Bhindranwale was a leader of the Sikh militant organisation Damdami Taksal, Singh, an Indian Army officer, joined the group after leaving the armed forces.

The Indian dossier says that Khalistani secessionists like Avtar Singh Sanghera, Manmohan Singh Bajaj, Tara Singh, Hoga Singh, Satinder Pal Singh and Chawla have built a stage for Khalistan at Nankana Sahab from where they regularly incite Indian Sikhs against the government.

Some of the instances of anti-India activities mentioned in the dossier are as follows:

- In 2016, pilgrims were incited to revolt against the Indian government post the decision announcing demonetisation.

"Attempts were made to instigate the Sikh pilgrims against the Indian government over the issues like demonetisation, denial of permission for unauthorised 'Sarbat Khalsa', inter-state dispute involving Punjab and creation of Khalistan," it says.

- During the pilgrimage in November 2016, one Jagroop Singh alias Rupa instigated youths to carry out terror attacks in India.

- During 'Baisakhi jathas' in April 2017, UK-based pro-Khalistan element Manmohan Singh Bajaj was allowed to address pilgrims in Gurdwara Panja Sahib where he raised pro-Khalistan slogans and unequivocally stated that he was fighting for the cause of Khalistan.

- During the main function, many posters of secessionist campaign 'Referendum 2020', 'Get Ready For Referendum 2020' were permitted to be prominently displayed at the premises of Panja Sahib gurdwara and Bhindranwale's posters with slogans like 'Be Khalsa, Get Khalistan' were displayed.

- The dossier includes social media pages of some of the Pakistani Sikh leaders who posted messages like 'Khalsa Khalistan Da, Kashmir Pakistan Da', videos like 'Kahmir Banega Pakistan', and other anti-India messages.

At round 2 of the meeting to discuss Kartarpur issues, Pakistan had responded positively to India's concerns. However, Indian officials are still apprehensive whether action will be taken against Khalistani terrorists. India in the past has also given detailed dossiers to Pakistan against Saeed and others, but Islamabad has described the evidence as “inadequate”. This background has made India suspicious, especially since groups like the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) have called for a convention at Kartarpur Saheb when the corridor opens.

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