According to Pakistani media report, a life-size statue of the first ruler of the Sikh Empire Maharaja Ranjit Singh has been restored and is soon expected to be reinstalled at a safer place at Lahore Fort, months after it was last vandalised by an activist of a banned Islamist party.
In a bid to facilitate a number of Sikh pilgrims arriving in Lahore from India via Wagah, the Pakistan Railways (PR) has decided to run nine special trains. The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) said that as many as 2,500 Sikh pilgrims will enter Pakistan on foot via the Wagah border to attend the Vaisakhi festival. Some pilgrims will also reach Pakistan from the UK and Canada too. At Wagah, the ETPB officers and Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) office bearers will welcome the pilgrims.
The Pakistan High Commission has issued over 2,200 visas to Sikh pilgrims for Baisakhi on April 14.
According to reports, Pakistani authorities have set up a joint committee to decide on the handing over of an over 100-year-old gurudwara in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to the Evacuee Property Trust Board (EPTB) for its restoration and proper preservation. Officials said that the team constituted by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government would visit Sri Guru Singh Sabha gurudwara in Mansehra district before finalising its report and submitting it to the authorities.
United Kingdom (UK) regulator Ofcom suspended the license of Khalsa Television Limited which broadcasts to the Sikh diaspora on its pro-Khalistan Punjabi TV channel KTV after one of its programmes called on UK-based Sikhs to travel to Punjab to engage in violent crime and disorder to achieve a separate Khalistan state. The license was suspended with immediate effect on March 31 when UK foreign secretary Liz Truss landed in Delhi. “The presenter of the programme made a number of statements throughout the programme which, taken together, promoted violent action, including murder, as an acceptable and necessary form of action to further the Khalistani cause. This was a serious breach of our rules on incitement of crime and disorder,” Ofcom said in its written decision.
According to intelligence sources, the banned “Punjab Politics TV” operating from the United Kingdom (UK) had been spreading hate against India and propagating pro-Khalistani sentiments in the country and in Punjab for the last one year. Sources confirmed that this social media channel and application was launched by pro-Khalistan sympathisers just ahead of the Punjab elections, and was being widely circulated in the hinterlands of Punjab with the agenda of keeping some political party out of power in the state and to spread Khalistani sentiments among the people of Punjab. The digital platform “Punjab Politics TV” bears the company name “Politics Punjab Broadcasting Ltd” and is registered in the UK with the Companies House, under the government of the United Kingdom. The company was incorporated in March 2021 and since then, it has been active both in the UK and in Punjab. Intelligence agencies have said that they were tracking the activities of this digital media since the last six months when it became quite active in Punjab, keeping in mind the recently held Assembly elections in the state. The intelligence agencies had shared a detailed report with the Ministry of Home Affairs about the activities of this media company and how they had been propagating hate, fake news against Sikhs in India.
A peer in the House of Lords and chairman of the British Sikh Association, Lord Rami Ranger, said that United Kingdom (UK) home secretary Priti Patel was “right” to say during a speech to a United States (US) think tank that "Sikh separatist extremism has caused considerable tensions in recent years”. He said that as home secretary of the UK, Patel “is right to ensure Britain never becomes a launchpad for terrorists”. “Every British citizen who has taken an oath of alignment to Her Majesty the Queen must be loyal and work hard to become an asset to the nation. Engaging in criminal activities against any nation is punishable by law. With the new nationality bill, they could be removed from the country and stripped of their citizenship,” he said. Ranger urged “anti-India Sikhs” to be like the Sikh Gurus who “were committed to their Mother India and paid supreme sacrifices to preserve India’s ancient civilization”. “Anti-India Sikhs should learn from the Kashmiri militants who have been terrorizing their fellow Kashmiris for three decades and have gained nothing except to hinder the progress of Kashmiris along with causing death and destruction to their fellow citizens,” Ranger added.
United Kingdom (UK) home secretary Priti Patel has been accused of smearing Sikhs after she referred to Sikh separatist extremism as a “shared security threat” the UK had with the US in a speech she gave on November 19, 2021. In the speech in Washington DC to the Heritage Foundation, a think tank which promotes Conservative public policies and values, Patel spoke about “the global picture and the various threats” that the UK and US face as allies, all of which “endanger our shared freedom and prosperity”. While discussing Islamist extremism, Daesh and extreme right-wing terror groups, she said, “Sikh separatist extremism has also caused considerable tensions in recent years. While we stoutly defend freedom of expression, it must always be within the law. We have expanded our disruptions capability to better address those people who seek to radicalize but who operate, often intentionally, below legal thresholds.” Meanwhile, Dabinderjit Singh, principal adviser of the Sikh Federation (UK), said that he had been raising this “quietly” with ministers ever since November asking them to explain her comments. He said, “No one has been able to. This is not just a speech but a speech on the UK government website. If Sikhs had carried out a bomb blast in Britain, it may have been legitimate to say that. We are shocked the home secretary has made such remarks… What incident in Britain would make the home secretary start saying she is worried about Sikh separatist extremists? Is it on the back of the 2020 Khalistan referendum in Britain? She says she has banned the political wing of Hamas and the undertone is that is why she is mentioning Sikhs.”
At least 50 passengers were killed and another 30 persons were injured as terrorists belonged to Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) attacked the train passengers in a train at Baddowal village in Ludhiana District on June 15, 1991. When the train was stopped as someone pulled the ‘emergency cords’ at Baddowal on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur railway line, the terrorists entered into the train’s compartments and started firing at the passengers.
Khalistani terrorists attacked a passenger bus and killed 38 innocent civilians and injured another 33 others on July 6, 1987, near Lalru village in Mohali District of Punjab. Around a half dozen terrorists belonging to Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) forcefully stopped a passenger bus - Haryana Roadways bus HYE 1735 – near Lalru village (between Jamalpur and Hasanpur villages) and opened fire on passengers, killing 38 passengers including women and children.
The Air India Flight 182 Kanishka on June 23, 1985, flying from Toronto to Mumbai, exploded in mid-air over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ireland killing all 307 passengers and 22 crew members. The mid-air bomb explosion which killed all the 329 persons, including 268 Canadians, 27 British, 22 Indians and 12 others on board, was the deadliest attack on civil aviation until the September 11, 2001 attack in neighbouring USA.
Seven drug peddlers were arrested and 300g of heroin was recovered from them after a video was shared widely on social media of a man selling drugs to addicts on a rail track in Faridkot in Faridkot district on May 4. The accused were identified as Shivam, Ravi, Deepak, Baljeet Singh, Hira Singh, Amritpal Singh Jinda and Pardeep Kumar, all residents of Faridkot. Police rounded up the alleged drug supplier, Jagdeep Singh and impounded three two-wheelers of the accused.
The Special Task Force (STF) of the Punjab Police arrested two gangsters, identified as David alias Laddi Shooter and Lovepreet Sandhu alias Akash and recovered two pistols, three magazines, 12 rounds, 60-gm heroin and Rs 6.3 lakh drug money from their possession in Ferozepur district.
The Hoshiarpur district police arrested four smugglers by recovering a huge quantity of narcotics from them from different places on May 3. Police arrested Amandeep Singh alias Aman, a resident of Jagatpura, and recovered 78 grams of intoxicating powder from him. Gurpreet Singh alias Guru a resident Basant Bihar, was arrested by the police and 22 grams of heroin was seized from him. During a naka in the area, Mehtiana police arrested Jatinder Singh Jimmy and Lakhwinder Singh and recovered a large number of sedative capsules from them.
The probe into pro-Khalistan modules busted in Punjab recently has revealed that foreign-based terrorists and their local handlers are using money to lure the state’s youth, who in fact lack ideological conviction.
Indian Americans have expressed outrage over a citation issued by the general assembly of the US state of Connecticut recognising an anniversary of the so-called “declaration of Sikh independence”.
In a fresh provocation, terrorist outfit Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) warned Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann and DGP Viresh Bhawra against taking action against the Khalistan supporters who are accused in the Patiala violence case.
On Sunday, the Indian World Forum raised concern over the US State provocation of pro-Khalistani groups. The forum stated that the resolution passed by the US State of Connecticut influences and promotes Khalistan and thereby challenging the sovereignty of India.