Home » News » India » NIA Makes Formal Request to Canada to Ban 'Terrorist Entity' Sikhs for Justice
2-MIN READ

NIA Makes Formal Request to Canada to Ban 'Terrorist Entity' Sikhs for Justice

 A two-member NIA team headed by an IG rank officer had started their visit to Canada last week. (Image for representation: PTI)

A two-member NIA team headed by an IG rank officer had started their visit to Canada last week. (Image for representation: PTI)

SFJ, founded in 2007, is a US-based group that advocates for a separate homeland for Sikhs in Punjab, dubbed 'Khalistan'.

The National Investigation Agency on Sunday formally requested the Canadian government to declare Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) as a terrorist entity in the country. The group was banned by the Indian Government in July 2019 under the UA(P) Act for their involvement in promoting secession as well as violent militancy in Punjab.

SFJ, founded in 2007, is a US-based organisation that advocates for a separate homeland for Sikhs in Punjab, dubbed “Khalistan". Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a law graduate from Panjab University who is currently an attorney at law in the United States, is the face of SFJ and its legal adviser.

“Yes, a formal request has been made," an NIA officer told CNN-News18. A two-member NIA team headed by an IG rank officer had started their visit to Canada last week. Sources said the visit is to press Canadian authorities for faster execution of requests made under the mutual legal assistance treaty. “The visit is for better coordination of investigation against entities and individuals suspected of terrorism and to discuss other criminal matters," a release issued by the Indian High Commission in Ottawa had said.

ALSO READ | EXCLUSIVE: NIA Raids 18 Locations Across J&K to Bust Team Behind ISIS-Led Secret ‘Jihadi’ Magazine

RELATED NEWS

It had added that the NIA team “held detailed discussions with senior Royal Canadian Mounted Police officials to collate evidence on several ongoing investigations into cases of terrorism and other serious crimes, to bring about successful prosecution of the accused in both India and Canada.”

The NIA had registered an FIR against Khalistani groups including SFJ in December last year. “SFJ and other Khalistani terrorist organisations, including but not limited to BKI, KTF and KZF, along with their frontal outfits are conspiring to create an atmosphere of fear and lawlessness and cause disaffection among people to incite them against the government of India,” the NIA FIR had said.

The agency suspected the role of SFJ in 2020 Punjab Referendum, as well as farmer protests. Several farmers, including leaders who were part of the negotiations with Union government, were asked to join investigation against SFJ as witnesses. The ‘Referendum 2020’ is a campaign organised by the SFJ for secession of Punjab from India.

NIA suspects a social media campaign and a conspiracy against India under which massive funds were collected for protests at Indian missions in countries like the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany and Australia.

Officials said that NIA is also investigating funding routes from other countries as part of its probe.

As per sources, the NIA team in Canada has shared details of its probe against not just SFJ, but other Khalistani groups like Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) and Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF).

NIA officials in Canada have also met with officials from the Canadian Department of Justice, International Crime and Counter-terrorism Bureau of Global Affairs, Canada, the International Affairs Division of Public Safety, Canada, ‘with a view to deepening and expanding India-Canada collaboration on counter-terrorism and interdiction of global terrorist financing.’​

Read all the Latest News, Breaking News and Coronavirus News here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Telegram.

first published:November 07, 2021, 18:20 IST