One person, identified as Bhalwan Singh was arrested along with five kilograms of heroin and two pistols and 10 live cartridges at the Amritsar-Jalandhar national highway in Amritsar. The accused was produced in a local court which sent him to police remand till January 6.
The Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab, Dinkar Gupta in an interview said that “We have been fortunate that 2019 has gone without any terror crime.” However, he cautioned that “It is difficult to say what the future holds for us, but when you are dealing with a neighbour like Pakistan, there will be attempts to foment trouble in Punjab. So, we have to be always vigilant.” He also said that “the SFJ tirade, however, has no resonance in Punjab. Some see it as a bogey created by security agencies.”
Regarding the “Referendum2020” campaign the DGP, Dinkar Gupta said, “It has no takers here. SFJ has been banned by the government of India and its chief protagonist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun has been declared proclaimed offender in a few cases. The only worrying part is that they are beguiling and trying to provoke the youth to commit violence which is not a good sign. It vitiates the peace.”
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) criticized Pakistan’s decision to deny entry to non-Sikh visitors to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur in Pakistan, for three days in January. Earlier Pakistan has decided not to allow the entry of non-Sikhs to the shrine, from January 3 to January 5, during the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh who is the tenth and last of the Sikh Gurus.
An angry mob of Muslim residents of Nankana Sahib stormed Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, the birth place of Sikh’s first master Guru Nanak Dev in Pakistan. According to reports, local Muslim protesters were resentful of Sikhs’ opposition to the alleged ‘forced’ conversion of a Sikh girl Jagjit Kaur to Islam and her marriage to a Muslim boy.
India strongly condemned the attack at Nankana Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan and asked Pakistan Government to take "immediate steps" to ensure the safety, security and welfare of members of the Sikh community.
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh appealed to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for his immediate intervention to ensure the safety of devotees stranded in Gurdwara Nankana Sahib. He also asked Imran Khan to save the historic Gurdwara from the angry mob.
Sukhbir Badal, chief of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) met the family of Khalistani terrorist Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict in 1995 assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh and said he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the issue. After meeting Balwant Singh Rajoana's sister Kamaldeep Kaur at her Ludhiana home, he said that “Rajoana's death sentence ‘should be cancelled’.... Not even a single parole has been allowed to him in past 25 years... This is injustice. His death sentence should be cancelled because it is a serious matter related to the Sikh community”.
Pro-Khalistan leader Gopal Singh Chawla was spotted at the Nankana Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan, amid the tense situation at the site. Visuals show while a Sikh leader addressing the media declaring that there will be no unscheduled protests as it was their own land, Chawla who was seen standing behind him instructing the media to shut their cameras.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Gobind Singh Longowa said that, SGPC will send a four-member delegation to Pakistan to take stock of the situation following a mob attack on Gurdwara Nankana Sahib. He said " The delegation will also meet Pakistan's Punjab Governor and Chief Minister." He also appealed to the Pakistan Government to take strict action against culprits who pelted stones.
Indian political leaders across the spectrum condemned stone-pelting attack on Nankana Sahib in Pakistan and said it was a “shameful situation”.
Pakistan said that what happened at the birthplace of Guru Nanak, Nankana Sahib involved two Muslim groups and attempts to paint it as communal were “patently motivated”.
Dal Khalsa, while condemning the ‘hooliganism’ at Nankana Sahib, urged Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to take an official stand on the unfortunate incident that has severely hurt millions of followers of Guru Nanak Dev ji. Dal Khalsa Spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh, said “I said that one insane person spewing venom against Sikh religion should not become a reason for hindrance in the cementing of Sikh-Muslim brotherhood.”
The Jalandhar Police team that had gone to Latianwal village in Kapurthala district to carry out a raid was attacked by villagers. Latianwal is among the several villages falling in the notorious drug belt of Kapurthala. Kapurthala SSP Satinder Singh said that “We have booked 11 persons of the village and raids are on to arrest them. As of now, they are absconding.”
The controversial pro-Khalistan supporter Gopal Singh Chawla was given free access to meet Indian pilgrims at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartapur Sahib complex during the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) organized celebrations to mark the birth anniversary of Sikhs’ tenth master Guru Gobind Singh. According to sources, Pakistan’s Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) allowed Chawla to lead the functions, address the gathering and meet Indian pilgrims.
A 25-year-old Sikh man, identified as Parvendar Singh, was allegedly murdered in Peshawar in Pakistan. His body was found in the Chamkani Police Station area in Peshawar. However, the alleged killer has not been identified yet. The victim was the brother of a journalist, Harmeet Singh, Pakistan’s first Sikh journalist in electronic media.
A Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) delegation, led by its president Sukhbir Badal, urged External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to seek a categorical assurance from Pakistan that those responsible for a "hate attack" on Sikhs as well as the stoning of Gurdwara Janam Asthan in Nankana Sahib would be given an "exemplary punishment." Sukhbir Badal also urged the Minister to raise the issue of atrocities being committed by Pakistan against minorities in the United Nations (UN).
India condemned the ‘targeted’ killing of a Sikh youth in Peshawar and the Ministry of External Affairs asked the Pakistan Government to ‘stop prevaricating’ and take immediate action to apprehend and award exemplary punishment to the perpetrators. The Ministry of External Affairs said Pakistan should stop "prevaricating" and take immediate action to apprehend and give exemplary punishment to the perpetrators of the crime.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the recent incident of vandalism at the Nankana Sahib, saying it goes against his “vision” and the government will show “zero tolerance” against those involved in it.
The Special Task Force (STF) arrested two drug peddlers and recovered 402 gm of heroin from their possession in Ludhiana.
The man, identified as Imran Ali Chishti, who issued threats to Sikhs and led a mob on January 3 that pelted stones at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, was arrested and charged with a non-bailable section of Pakistan’s anti-terrorism act.
An SGPC delegation, led by Gobind Singh Longowal, met Balwant Singh Rajoana - who is facing death sentence for assassinating former CM Beant Singh - in a separate room and clicked pictures with him inside the Central Jail in Patiala. According to reports, the five-member delegation spent almost an hour with the convict inside the jail. Earlier, Rajoana had announced to go on an indefinite strike from January 11 against the pendency of his mercy plea with the Centre.
The Akal Takht officiating Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh condemned the violent incidents in Pakistan and called upon the global Sikh community to unite against such assaults. Over the mob attack on Gurdwara Janam Asthan at Nankana Sahib and the killing of a Sikh youth in Peshawar, Giani Harpreet Singh said such incidents had instilled a sense of insecurity among the Sikh community in Pakistan.
India summoned the senior-most Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner Syed Haider Shah in New Delhi to lodge a strong protest over incidents targeting Sikh minority in Pakistan and to demand immediate action against the perpetrators of such ‘heinous acts’.
The Akal Takht acting Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh and parallel acting Jathedar Dhian Singh Mand came face to face at a function organised to felicitate kin of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassins in the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The incident took place when acting Jathedar was felicitating Waryam Singh and Baltej Singh, brother and nephew of Satwant Singh, one of the assassins of Indira Gandhi. As Giani Harpreet Singh began to offer ‘siropa’ (robe of honour) to them, Jarnail Singh Sakhira, Mand’s aide, dubbed him ‘sarkari jathedar’ loudly and walked out of the gurdwara along with parallel Jathedar in protest.
Pakistan’s National Council of Peoples’ Commission for Minorities Rights (PCMR), in a statement said that the threat to violence in Nankana Sahib by a mob, the killing of Sikh young man Parvinder Singh in Peshawar, and a gathering eulogizing the assassin Mumtaz Qadri on the death anniversary of Governor Salman Taseer in Karachi are extremely disturbing developments which should be taken seriously, and called upon the government to take urgent action to address the underlying causes of these manifestations.
Sikh activists belonging to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Sant Samaj took out a protest march in Phagwara in Kapurthala district against the mob attack on Gurdwara Nankana Sahib and stone-pelting on Sikh pilgrims in Pakistan.
Police arrested three persons along with 45 gram of heroin in separate incidents in Jalandhar. The arrestees, identified as Satnam Singh alias Satta (21), and mother-son duo Kishan Singh (21) and Paramjit Kaur (35), are residents of villages falling under the Subhanpur police station in Kapurthala district. A case under Sections 21, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act was registered against them.
According to Indian intelligence reports, nearly a dozen pilgrims who had gone on pilgrimage to Kartarpur Sahib through the Kartarpur corridor have reported the loss of their mobile phones on their return to India. Intelligence agencies suspects that ISI spies may be trying to steal the mobile phones of Indian pilgrims to get to know their contacts, e-mail accounts and other data. “The stolen data provides them direct access to a large number of people and it has always been the endeavour of ISI to win over soft targets through various allurements,” said sources.
A video of Harmeet Singh, brother of the Sikh youth killed in Pakistan emerged on social media. In the video Harmeet Singh said: "My name is Harmeet Singh and I am the first Sikh news anchor in Pakistan and a journalist. It has been more than three days that my brother was murdered but nobody from Pakistan government or ministry of minority affairs has issued any statement on this incident nor did anyone tried contacting me. More than three days have passed but no action has been taken by the police here and nobody has been arrested yet."
The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UAPA] tribunal headed by Delhi High Court Chief Justice D N Patel upheld the Central Government's ban on pro-Khalistan group, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ). The tribunal observed that it was clear from the evidence on record that activities of the group were ‘unlawful’, ‘disruptive’ and ‘threaten the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of India’. Justice Patel said that the evidence proves that SFJ was "working in collusion with anti-India entities and forces… Thus, the Central Government had sufficient cause to take action under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for declaring Sikhs For Justice as an unlawful association.” Earlier, the Central Government on July 10, 2019 had declared SFJ as an unlawful association and had banned it for five years.
The Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said that the ban on the SFJ was good news for Punjab, where it had been fishing for young and gullible youth, and radicalising them. He said, "With the SFJ being declared as an unlawful association, people will not fall prey to their objective of radicalising youth and unleashing violence in the state.”
Acting Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Harpreet Singh stated that the Pakistan government must deliver justice to the family of the Sikh youth murdered in Peshawar. The Jathedar, in a statement, said that “It is unfortunate that local police have not arrested the killers of the youth. The Pakistan government should step in to ensure justice so that minorities of Pakistan feel safe and they should ensure that no such incident takes place again.”
India said that the Nankana Sahib attack on Sikhs and murder of a member from that 'minority' community should work as 'mirror' for Pakistan and its Prime Minister Imran Khan. MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar said that "A country that cannot take care of its minorities should not tell other countries how to do it. It is not for us to comment every time they say something. Pakistan should focus on ensuring safety and security of the minorities there."
The External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, while interacting with expatriate Indians on the occasion of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, said that the government is committed to ensuring that perpetrators of atrocities during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots are brought to justice. To a question regarding misconceptions about the Sikh community abroad, the minister said that among the Indian communities abroad, Sikhs have been the foremost in shaping the brand and image of India.
According to Pakistan Police, the murder of Sikh youth Parvinder has been solved and his 18-year-old fiancée, Prem Kumari, has been arrested for her alleged involvement in plotting the murder. A senior security official said that it was a “contract killing” paid for by Prem Kumari, who didn’t want to marry Parvinder, who lived in the remote Shangla district of the province.
The Punjab Police busted a narco-terror module, which flew drones from Amritsar to Pakistan to fetch drugs in the last few days, by arresting three persons, including an Indian Army soldier and an expert drone operator. The arrestees were identified as Dharminder Singh of Dhanoa Khurd village (Amritsar), Balkar Singh of Kalas village (Amritsar), and Rahul Chauhan of Pooja Vihar in Ambala (Haryana). DGP Dinkar Gupta said that the gang carried out multiple sorties before it was busted by the state police. He also said that they had recovered two highly sophisticated Chinese drones, belonging to the narco-terror module, involved in the smuggling of weapons and narcotics from across the border. “The seizure includes drone batteries, custom-made drone containers, two walkie-talkie sets, Rs 6.22 lakh, believed to be proceeds of drugs, and a magazine of an INSAS rifle. The drones, capable of travelling 2-3 km, were reportedly being launched from the Indian side to fly into Pakistan to pick up narcotics. The accused had apparently already conducted four-five sorties,” said Gupta.
An Amritsar court awarded 12-year rigorous imprisonment to gangster Jagdeep Singh alias Jaggu Bhagwanpuria in a case involving peddling of drugs and attacking a police party in July 2015. However, six of his accomplices were acquitted in the case by the court. Bhagwanpuria, who is currently lodged in the Patiala jail, is facing trial in 30 criminal cases such as murder, attempt to murder and extortion.
Three Pakistan nationals living in Italy, identified as Chaudhary Abbasi, Liaquat Ali and Tanveer Kader offered an apology in a Gurudwara after they were threatened with a police case for allegedly circulating videos which were derogatory to Sikh Gurus and Hindu deities. The president of the Sikhs Sewa Society Italy, Jagjit Singh said, “The incident happened 10 days ago... after they realized their mistake, they approached the gurudwara to tender an apology.” According to sources, Liaquat Ali, who owned a restaurant in Brescia, and Kadar, who belonged to Tehreek-e-Kashmir, Italy, were close to Rizwan Salabat, ISI’s station head in Milan. Rizwan was close to Khalistani elements and sought their support to assuage the hurt feelings of Sikhs, the source said. It also said, in 2019, Ali played host to a few Khalistani Sikhs during their visit to Italy to win over Sikhs there for Khalistan movement and during their anti-India demonstration in Geneva, which was attended by radical Sikhs and Pakistanis living in Italy and Switzerland. The decision to drop the police complaint was taken after intervention of a few Sikh hardliners in Italy.
The Dal Khalsa and Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) called for a complete shutdown in Punjab on the occasion of India’s 70th Republic day. The head of SAD (Amritsar), Simranjit Singh Mann and the chief of Dal Khalsa, Harpal Singh Cheema, in a joint press conference, stated that, “Punjab will remain shut on January 25 (January 26 being a Sunday) to register its protest against Sangh’s agenda of Hindu rashtra and to reiterate that Punjab won’t be part of the theocratic Hindu state”. They declared that the shutdown would be verdict on fascists and divisive policies and decisions of Narendra Modi government.
The three accused belonging to a narco-terror module busted by the Punjab Police on January 10 were sent to three-day police remand by a local court.
The Pakistan government denied visa to a Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) delegation to visit Nankana Sahib, after Gurudwara Janam Asthan in Nankana Sahib was vandalised by a mob. SGPC chief Gobind Singh Longowal said that “Denial of visa is not fair. The Pakistan government should review its decision. The SGPC will again move to the Pakistan embassy to request it to grant visa to the delegation.”
Bengaluru Police arrested an alleged Khalistan supporter, Jarnail Singh Sidhu, who had fled Punjab and was hiding in the city, from Sampigehalli Police Station limits in north-eastern Bengaluru in Karnataka. Police sources said that "The Punjab police had approached us about Jarnail Singh, who was wanted by them. We traced him and handed him over to the Punjab police.” According to Central Crime Branch police, he was residing in Bengaluru for the last six months and is also allegedly in touch with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Police said he was living in a paying guest accommodation and was working in a private firm.
According to reports, Punjab arms and drug smugglers are now sourcing the high-end GPS fitted drones from the free classified websites like OLX for the cross-border smuggling of weapons and drugs. During an interrogation, the Army man, Rahul Chauhan, who was arrested along with two Amritsar-based drug smugglers, told the Punjab Police that he had purchased and sold one drone at OLX. Earlier, the modus operandi of smuggling weapons and narcotics using drones had come to light when the police busted a Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) terror module in September 2019.
According to report, Police has identified four more members of the narco-terror module busted by the Amritsar rural police four days ago, after the interrogation of the three arrested drug smugglers, including an Army man. Among the four suspects were two jail inmates who had been operating from the high-security prison in the city. The two jail inmates are believed to be accomplices of Balkar Singh, the kingpin of the nexus, who was a convict in an NDPS case and was undergoing 10-year imprisonment in Amritsar Central Jail.
According to reports, after the ban on pro-Khalistan group Sikh for Justice (SFJ), the group has formed a new faction named 'SFJ International'. Some foreign journalists were also included in to the new SFJ International faction to give impetus to the activities of 'Referendum2020' against India.It is also reported that Pakistan’s ISI has set up centers in Spain, Canada and Thailand to fund SFJ International.
A drone from Pakistan was spotted at Indo-Pak border in the Indian air space at Tendiwala village in Ferozepur district on January 13 night. A senior official said that, “The drone was seen for 4-5 minutes. BSF personnel tried to shoot it down but could not do so. Then, it disappeared.”
According to officials, Punjab Police has constituted five teams to keep an eye on smuggling of drugs and weapons by drones from Pakistan. Among the five teams, one team will solely be dedicated to handle cyber crime, two teams will keep a tab on the movement of narcotics and smugglers from other states into Punjab and two other dedicated teams would track criminals by their social media activity. All the five teams will work in tandem to make arrests.The new teams were formed in the wake of the recent seizure of two Chinese-made drones used to fly into Pakistan to pick drugs and fly back and arrests of five drug smugglers.
Senior officials of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) are looking at intelligence reports of rising incidents of weapons being pushed into India by Pakistan to aid Khalistani militants. According to sources, the probe into weapons smuggling began late last year (2019) after a Khalistani module was busted in Ludhiana in Punjab. Sources said that based on the interrogation reports of the two suspects - a woman who worked as a nurse in Faridkot and a man who used to work as a driver in Dubai - who were arrested in Ludhiana in November 2019, and additional intel inputs, senior officials at the UMHA have understood that large cache of weapons have been pushed inwards through some routes in Haryana and Rajasthan. It also added that the Pakistani handlers who are abetting the revival of Khalistani movement in the country have met some senior members of proscribed outfits - Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) in Pakistan recently.
An army deserter, Harpreet Singh (25) who is accused of stealing rifles and ammunition from an army institute in Madhya Pradesh, managed to escape from the Police custody at the civil hospital in Hoshiarpur in Punjab where he was undergoing treatment for injuries. Harpreet was arrested from Tanda town on December 9, 2019 along with Jagtar Singh, the son of Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) militant Harbhajan Singh. He was admitted to the civil hospital on December 31 with a fractured arm.
The Amritsar (Rural) police identified six more suspects of the narco-terror module that was busted on January 10. According to Police, six persons, all belong to Punjab, were getting heroin supply from the arrested members of the module.
A Pakistani drone entered near Indian border at Channa Pattanam near Ajnala sector in Amritsar in Punjab. According to sources, after hearing the sound of a drone, the BSF fired around 100 rounds of bullets, though they couldn’t find the drone due to the dense of fog in the area.
According to local sources in Italy, since the last couple of months, a steady stream of Sikh asylum seekers have been arriving every day at the local refugee centers in Italy and all of them declare to be ‘persecuted in India’, and claim to be members of the ‘Khalistan Movement’. The report said that it is a totally new phenomenon as Sikhs would mainly come as economic migrants or to join their families already working and living in Italy.The stream of asylum seekers in the past few months is big enough to have been noticed by the people working every day at the refugee offices, and to puzzle them. Though there are no official data yet about the number of requests being actually accepted by the Italian authorities, but most likely, they will accept almost all requests – mainly because in Italy, the concept of ‘Sikh militancy’ is widely unknown, the report said.
The investigation into the recently busted narco-terror module has revealed that the Indian Army soldier,Naik Rahul Chohan, arrested along with two others with drones last week, was introduced to the smugglers at the International Border by their Pakistan-based handlers. Rahul Chohan contacted Dharminder Singh, a resident of border village Dhanoe Khurd, through Pak smugglers and in July 2019, the two allegedly started smuggling drugs using drones. They made several sorties in July and August. Though they stopped their activity for a month after the terror module busted in October, they resumed their activities in December.
The BSF recovered 22 packets comprising around 22 kg heroin, 90 rounds and two magazines of ammunition, WiFi connectors, two smartphones, a normal phone and a pipe from the Border Out Post (BOP) at Chontra in Gurdaspur sector in Punjab. According to sources, troops saw some movement near the fencing at Chontra post and opened fire, after which some smugglers ran towards the Pakistani side.
A military deserter,Harpreet Singh (25) who recently escaped from Police custody from a hospital in Hoshiarpur, was arrested in Connaught Place in New Delhi. Earlier, Harpreet Singh had tricked police guards by making an excuse of going to the washroom and escaped from a civil hospital in Hoshiarpur by scaling its wall on January 14. Singh, who was a sepoy in the Indian Army, is facing charges for stealing two INSAS rifles and ammunition from the army's training institute in Pachmarhi in Madhya Pradesh.
The BSF recovered six packets comprising 12.5 kg heroin, a China-made pistol with one magazine and nine rounds from BOP Rajatal in Amritsar sector in Punjab. BSF DIG Bhupinder Singh said, “When the jawans began to reach for their guns, the men on the other side threw what they were carrying and fled.”
The BSF seized around 6 kg heroin from the BOP Rajoke in Tarn Taran district of Punjab. They also recovered US currency amounting to around 3 lakh rupees during a search after miscreants fled.
United Kingdom 17-Jan-2020
According to sources, Indian diplomats and British Indians fear violence and damage to the Indian high commission building in London when up to 5,000 protesters are expected to protest outside it on Republic Day on January 26. The protest named as “Rise for Kashmir” will take place outside the Indian high commission on January 26 from 1 pm to 3 pm. According to the president of Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK, Fahim Kayani, Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) and the World Sikh Parliament are the organizers of the protest. However, the British Indians has sent emails to the Metropolitan police and London mayor Sadiq Khan expressing concerns about the security of the mission building and asking for the protest to be moved.
Punjab police’ s Counter Intelligence (CI) wing arrested two cross-border drug smugglers, identified as Satnam Singh alias Satta and Gurpreet Singh alias Gora and recovered 4 kg of heroin from their possession in Mamdot in Firozepur District of Punjab. According to officials, Satnam Singh, during the interrogation,revealed that he was in touch with a Pakistani smuggler, Riaz Chacha. On the intervening night of January 6 and 7, he had received 5-kg heroin that was thrown in the fields situated along the fence near border outpost Maste kein Firozpur, which belonged to Gurpreet.
Amritsar Rural police arrested sixth accused in the recently busted narco-terror module, identified as Rishab Kumar, from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. Police sources said that Rishab had sold a drone to the army naik Rahul Chauhan who was arrested along with two Chinese-made drones and arms on January 11.
The misuse of drones by smugglers at the international border to fetch drug consignments has emerged as a major security threat in Punjab, says report. According to security sources, the easy availability of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) or drones has become a headache for the security agencies in Punjab. Police officials said that even though there were a number of regulations regarding the operation of drones, these were hardly being followed. The first incident of drone was reported in October 2019 when the Punjab Police arrested several Khalistani extremists who got sophisticated weapons from their handlers in Pakistan through drones. Recently, Amritsar rural police busted a drug cartel involving a soldier who was sneaking in drug consignments with the help of drones.
United Kingdom 19-Jan-2020
A UK based NGO, the Sikh Federation UK (SFUK), is joining forces with around 200 Sikh representatives from more than 20 countries to lobby the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for a “Rwanda-style” international tribunal to investigate crimes during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The chairman of SFUK, Bhai Amrik Singh said that ““Our experiences from the last 35 years and this latest report [Justice SN Dhingra Committee Report] shows the police, politicians, and judiciary in India are corrupt to the core and the wheels of justice hardly turn. It is therefore impossible to secure justice within the Indian system. We are confident in securing the support of the majority of the five members of the UN Security Council. It is the entire Indian machinery that must be put on trial in an international arena.”
United Kingdom 20-Jan-2020
The World Sikh Parliament (WSP) announced that they will support the anti-India protest being organised by the Tehreek-e-Kashmir (TeK) UK chapter on the occasion of India’s Republic Day on January 26, outside the Indian High Commission in London. The WSP spokesperson, Ranjeet Singh declared that “We are with the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) who have been incarcerated by the government of India since August 5, 2019. In this situation we will join the TeK UK’s anti-India protest in front of the IHC in London.” Earlier, TeK announced the protest outside Indian High Commission in London and to observe the Republic Day as ‘Black Day’ across the world.
The Amritsar Rural police arrested a Jammu-based man, Sarvodhya Rakesh Bihari, in connection with the narco-terror module it busted on January 11, from Jammu in J&K. This is the seventh arrest in the case. According to Police, Sarvodhya had been working as supplier of drones, and was in contact with a Delhi-based company that had been supplying the drones without following guidelines of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
Seven more villages of Hoshiarpur district were declared drug-free by the administration as part of the campaign launched against the drug menace by the Punjab Government. The district now boasts of having 45 drug-free villages. Deputy Commissioner Isha Kalia handed over drug-free village certificates to village authorities.
The acting Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Harpreet Singh sought cancellation of cases registered against 9 Sikh youths held for vandalizing the platform of Punjabi folk dancers's statues on the Heritage Street leading to the Golden Temple. He said on January 20 that “Amritsar was the centre of Sikh religion and such statues should have not been installed in the 'Heritage Street'….There is a difference between Sikh and Punjabi culture as the latter also covers Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims and people of all other religions living in Punjab, but the Sikh culture is distinct."
United States 20-Jan-2020
The US-based Sikh bodies, Sikh Coordination Committee East Coast (SCCEC) and American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (AGPC), held a meeting to condemn the installation of Punjabi cultural statues on Heritage Street and demanded cancellation of cases against the Sikh youths arrested for vandalizing the statue. SCCEC coordinator Himmat Singh said that the SCCEC and AGPC had held a teleconference on the issue and there was unanimity among them over it being a grave mistake to install these statues near Golden Temple.
According to reports, a prominent Sikh political leader in Pakistan, Radesh Singh Tony was forced to leave the country after receiving threats to his life. Radesh Singh Tony, the president of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa's Pakistan Minorities Alliance, was allegedly tortured by some unidentified people last month when he was passing through the Kacha Jail Road along with his son. He was the first minority member in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to contest the national elections, who had contested the 2018 general elections from Peshawar as an independent candidate.
United Kingdom 22-Jan-2020
The High Commissioner of India in London Ruchi Ghanshyam, in a call with the Home Secretary of UK Priti Patel, expressed concerns over the planned protest outside the High Commission of India (HCI) in which Indian Constitution is supposed to be burnt on the day India celebrates its Republic Day on January 26. Indian diaspora in UK too requested to various UK authorities to ban the protest.
According to sources, prominent Sikh leader and a minority rights activist, Radesh Singh Tony, along with his family from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, left Pakistan due to threats to his life and is likely to take asylum in India. He has been targeted by Islamist extremists and has received threats several times. He has also been critical of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government and complaining about the deteriorating law and order situation in Pakistan.
The Akal Takht acting Jathedar, Giani Harpreet Singh constituted a three-member committee to resolve the row concerning demand to remove statues of folk dancers on the Heritage Street.
Police arrested a woman drug peddler, identified as Neelam and recovered 50 gm of heroin from her possession near Children Park in Ludhiana.
The Special Task Force (STF) of Ludhiana Police arrested four drug smugglers and recovered 2.20 kg of heroin from their possession in Ludhiana. The arrestees were identified as Jagdev Singh Jaggi (32), Parminder Singh Minna (30), Sonu Ghalot (29) and Harpreet Singh (24).
United Kingdom 23-Jan-2020
According to reports, protesters have been mobilizing people in large numbers to join the agitation outside the Indian embassy in London and burn copies of the Indian Constitution on January 26. Some pro-Khalistan fringe groups are also joining hands with Pakistani groups in the protest. Messages are widely circulated using various social media platforms inviting ‘like-minded’ people to join and burn the Indian Constitution, report said.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) supported the demand of Sikh bodies for removal of folk dancers’ statues installed by the previous SAD-BJP government on Heritage Street in Amritsar. The SGPC decision came after a meeting of a four-member committee constituted by the Akal Takht to resolve the issue. SGPC senior vice-president Rajinder Singh Mehta, one of the members of the committee, said that they respect the sentiments of the Sikh community on this issue. He said the administration should take decision on the statues at the earliest, but did not say what kind of decision the committee wants.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh urged Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to ensure the safety of a Sikh leader Radesh Singh Tony who has alleged persecution by fundamentalists in that country.
Two persons out of three, who were named in the FIR registered at Sriganganagar under the NDPS Act on December 13, 2019 were arrested in Fazilka district of Punjab. The accused persons, identified as Gurpreet Singh Monu and Gurjinder Singh Sonu were arrested in connection with recovery of 64 kg of poppy husk from Netewala-Kaluwala bypass on December 13.
United Kingdom 24-Jan-2020
Around 15,000 British Kashmiris plan to attend the protest outside the Indian high commission building in London on January 26 as India celebrates Republic Day. The protest, which starts at 1 pm was called by the groups like Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) and the World Sikh Parliament. Pro-Khalistan Sikhs, British Pakistanis and Britons who originate from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) are expected to take part in the protest..
A local court in Ludhiana sentenced a drug peddler, identified as Paramjit Singh to 12 years rigorous imprisonment after he was found in possession of 8 kg opium. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 1.2 lakh on the convict.
The Canadian High Commissioner to India Nadir Patel, when asked about the pro-Khalistan activities in Canada in an interview, said that, “If there are any laws that are being broken, we will act on those. But Canada does not support the creation of another state or the separation or break-up of India. You can take that in the context of that topic [pro-Khalistan] or any other separatist movement. We very much respect Canada’s charter of rights that provides for freedom of expression. But if these freedoms are impeded upon, we will act on that right away.”
The Punjab bandh (general shutdown strike) called by the radical Sikh outfits, Dal Khalsa and SAD (Amritsar) against the CAA and the NRC evoked lukewarm response in most parts of the state barring Amritsar. According to reports, markets and commercial establishments remained opened in most parts of the state as protesters at a few places faced opposition from shopkeepers for trying to forcibly down the shutters of their shops. The officials said that protest remained peaceful in the state.
United Kingdom 26-Jan-2020
The Scotland Yard provided strict security around the Indian high commission building in London and prevented recurrence of violence as protesters raised anti-India slogans and separatist demands related to Khalistan and Kashmir. According to report, only less than 1,000 people attended the much-hyped anti-India protest. After the diplomatic pressure from India, British authorities took adequate measures, including mounted police and cameras to record and identify protesters.
United States 26-Jan-2020
The followers of poet-saint Guru Ravidas staged a protest outside the office of the pro-Khalistan group, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) in New York on January 26 against the alleged burning of the Indian Constitution and demands for a referendum in Punjab. The protesters raised slogans against the SFJ and burnt the effigy of its leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannu. The president of Guru Ravidas temple in New York, Ashok Kumar Mahi, who had called for the protest said that "Our protest is against them burning the sacred Constitution. They provoked us by sending this video." Earlier, SFJ sent a video of tearing a copy of the Indian Constitution and burning it. The Dalit leader, Ashok Kumar Mahi, also told the local media India America Today that they were offended by Pannu’s move and had reached out to his organisation also to underscore their “strong feelings” associated with the Constitution and Dr BR Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution. However, SFJ went ahead with its attempted burning of the Indian Constitution, which has hurt the feelings of the community, he said.
The Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab, Dinkar Gupta said that Punjab is the safest state in the country but it being a border state, the police have to remain ever vigilant. He also said that under the Police Forces Modernization scheme, construction of new buildings of existing 95 police stations is underway in Punjab and for this purpose a loan of Rs 150 crore has also been availed from HUDCO (Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited). The DGP also added that to curb ‘the glorification of arms and drugs culture in songs’, police would hold meetings with the singers and take appropriate action against the offenders.
The websites of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) was suspected to be hacked by a group called ‘Dalit Hacker’. The group said that it celebrated India's Republic Day by hacking the website.
According to sources, the ‘chief’ of the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD was reportedly killed by a local gang over financial disputes stemming from drug smuggling at the Dera Chahal Gurudwara near Lahore in Pakistan. Harmeet Singh was wanted in India in several cases, and involved in the smuggling of weapons and drugs from Pakistan. He was also allegedly involved in the targeted killing of Hindu leaders in Punjab in 2016-2017. The Interpol, acting on India’s request, in October 2018, issued red corner notice against Harmeet Singh along with seven other Khalistani terrorists based in different countries. He was a resident of Chheharta in Amritsar, Punjab in India and he was living in Pakistan for the last two decades.
The news of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) ‘chief’ Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD’s killing in Lahore in Pakistan on January 27 brought relief to Indian security agencies, especially the Punjab Police, which had got nine red corner notices issued against the terrorist leader. Happy PhD, who was a PhD student in religious studies at Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar in 2008 and later became the ‘chief’ of terror outfit KLF, remained a headache for the Indian security agencies for more than 11 years. He was one of the most active Khalistani terrorist in Pakistan and was allegedly involved in almost every terror attack, radicalisation of youths and drug smuggling in Punjab since 2008. His name first appeared in terror-related activities on November 5, 2008, when the Makhu police of the Ferozepur police district named him in an FIR for having received a cache of weapons and ammunition from Pakistan to kill Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. However, Police couldn’t arrest him in that case. Later, he reportedly moved to Pakistan where he rose through the militant ranks fast and became the KLF ‘chief’ in a few years. According to police, Happy PhD was considered the main link between Khalistani and Kashmiri militants. He also ran a network of funding terror activities and smuggling through Dubai-based smuggler Jasmeet Singh Hakeemzada.
The Pakistani media did not report a word on the killing of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) ‘chief’ Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD apparently because of the sensitivity attached to the matter, sources said. He was reportedly killed near Dera Chahal Gurudwara on the outskirts of Lahore in Pakistan on January 27. According to local sources, the body of slain militant was not shifted to any of the Lahore’s morgue for autopsy and there was no FIR registered over his murder. Sources said, "We have been asked not to pursue this case. Therefore, no FIR has been registered in the murder of Harmeet Singh."The law enforcement agencies have cordoned off the area near the Gurudwara in Burki since January 27 and no one including journalists were allowed to visit there. It was also reported that he was shot dead by a local gang over financial disputes related to drug smuggling.
Special Task Force (STF) arrested a drug smuggler, identified as Varinder Kumar alias Sonu (25) and recovered 360 grams of heroin from his possession in Sector 39 area in Ludhiana, Punjab. During preliminary questioning, he revealed that he had been smuggling drugs for the past more than four years and he was his way to supply the contraband to his clients.
The killed Khalistani terrorist, Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD was among the list of 15 pro-Khalistan activists active in Pakistan in the garb of making preparations for celebrating the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in November 2019. According to Indian intelligence agencies, India, during the second round of Kartarpur Corridor talks between India and Pakistan in Wagah in July 2019, submitted a 23-page dossier of 15 pro-Khalistani activists residing in Pakistan, containing events from the past four years to Pakistan. The dossier also included the year-wise pictorial details of key Khalistani elements in Pakistan and their anti-India activities on social media.
According to reports, though the parents of killed Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) ‘chief’ Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD in Amritsar want Pakistan to return his body for cremation, Pakistan won’t agree with this as the Khalistani terrorist was living under fake identity at Nankana Sahib in Pakistan. According to the documents. His parents, father Avtar Singh and mother Khushbir Kaur, live in Chheharta area in Amritsar, Punjab. However, his Pakistan documents identify him as 37-year-old Bhupinder Singh. According to his identity card, given to him according to security officials by Pakistan’s deep state, Happy was Bhupinder Singh, son of Sant Singh, Mohalla Balila Nard, Gurudwara Pati Saheb, Nankana Saheb. His religious identity card, which shows his date of birth as December 12, 1983, was valid till May 31, 2024.
Hong Kong 29-Jan-2020
The Punjab police has to wait further to extradite the prime accused in the Nabha jailbreak incident, Ramanjit Singh Romi, from Hong Kong as the Hong Kong government has asked its population to work from home and suspended working in a number of departments including the justice department due to the increasing cases of Corona virus infection. Last month, Romi had filed a second appeal in the higher court in Hong Kong challenging his extradition to India after the Eastern Court had dismissed his plea challenging his extradition to India on the grounds that he was being targeted for being a pro-Khalistan and claimed he was ‘at risk of brutal treatment if returned to the country of his birth.’The higher court while admitting his second plea had called for a day-to-day hearing which had started early this month. The Punjab police had been expecting that the hearing would be completed soon and they will be able to secure his custody.
According to Pakistani private news channels, Pakistan’s intelligence agencies had countered Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)’s (India’s intelligence agency) plan to launch a terror attack along the route of the Kartarpur Corridor, through which India had wanted to incite Sikhs to carry out anti-Pakistan activities. However, India did not react to Pakistan’s claim.
According to local sources, the slain Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) ‘chief’ Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD was cremated at Babu Sabu Chowk cremation ground in Lahore in the presence of fellow Khalistani extremist Lakhbir Singh Rode, the ‘chief’ of International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) on January 29. A superintendent-rank police officer and the Station House Officer of the Dera Chahal station were also present at the cremation ground where Happy PhD was discreetly cremated, sources said.
The Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) has changed its nomenclature from Sikh Referendum 2020 to Punjab Referendum 2020 and invited members of other religions, besides Dalits. According to report, after failing to get any response for their referendum 2020, SFJ, through their posters circulated on social media, has extended the program to all communities and invited Dalits to join the campaign. According to Punjab Police, SFJ had abandoned the Sikh referendum movement and shifted its stance after it got no response from the Sikh community over its separatist agenda. Police officials also said that there was an outcry over anti-national activities of the SFJ. The SFJ leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in his recent video posted on a Facebook group titled 'Sikh Referendum 2020' besides the Sikhs and Muslims, can be seen appealing to all Christians and Hindus to vote for his dream project referendum 2020. "This is also for all the Muslims and Christian brothers that the referendum is not closing. We will be sending the registration forms to every household and the voting will start on June 6, 2020. Hindus having immovable property in India cannot vote as there are some restrictions," Pannun said.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) would again take the voice samples of the nine accused Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) terrorists for their involvement in smuggling of arms using drones from Pakistan to Indian Punjab through the International Border. Barring Gurdev Singh, all other accused in the case, Akashdeep Singh, Balwant Singh, Shukhdeep Singh, Mann Singh, Sajanpreet Singh and Malkit Singh appeared in the NIA court in Mohali.
According to sources, Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) has turned several chiefs of Khalistani terror outfits based in Pakistan into drug smugglers who are destroying a generation of youth of Punjab and other parts of India. Smuggling of weapons and drugs by Pakistan-based Khalistani terror chiefs has resulted in a rivalry among the militant Sikh Groups who are competing for the ISI's patronage and each one of them is trying to outperform the other in smuggling drugs like heroin in India, report said. It was the result of rivalry among the Khalistani militant groups based in Pakistan that on January 27, the ‘chief’ of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD, was killed at the Dera Chahal Gurudwara near Lahore by a local gang over financial disputes stemming from drug smuggling.
The Special Task Force (STF) of Punjab Police arrested an Afghan national, Arman Basharmal, involved in refining heroin along with five others including a woman during a raid on an illegal manufacturing unit in Sultanwind in Amritsar. The STF recovered 194 kg of heroin, 38 kg of a synthetic drug and 207 kg of chemical from their possession. The STF also seized a gas burner, commercial cylinders, utensils and a mixer grinder from the spot. As per report, it is after nearly seven years that a drugs manufacturing unit has been busted in Punjab. Earlier, an illegal factory run allegedly by Ravi Kandola gang was busted.
The Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh asserted that he would not spare anyone found implicated in the case related to the recently busted major narco-terror racket, irrespective of their political affiliations. Making it clear that his government would not allow drug smugglers, narco- gangsters and narco-terrorists to spread their wings in the state, which had witnessed massive decline in the number of deaths due to drug abuse, as a result of the efforts of the government and the police.
The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested an arms supplier of the militant outfit Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), identified as Ashish Kumar from Roorkee in Haridwar District of Uttarakhand. According to Police, Ashish Kumar, who hails from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, was wanted in a case of attempt to murder lodged at Mohali district of Punjab in 2018. He had allegedly supplied weapons to KLF members involved in the killing and attack on some Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) members in Punjab. The Additional Director General, ATS, D K Thakur said that Ashish used to supply weapons to one Gugni Grewal, who is considered a close aide of slain KLF leader Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD. Kumar also confessed that he had sold eight pistols to Gugani over the past three years.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed an application for obtaining the mobile and computer data of an accused booked in connection with the September 5, 2019, Tarn Taran bomb blast in which two persons were killed while making the explosives. The NIA court in Mohali issued notices to the defense counsel of the accused to file the reply and fixed February 3 as the next date of hearing.
Police arrested a person, identified as Rahul Bishnoi (26) along with 1.3 kg of opium from the Sriganganagar-Suratgarh bypass in Abohar in Fazilka district.
The Special Task Force (STF) of the Ludhiana police arrested a car trader, Raman Dhawan and his accomplice, Nitin Khurana along with 3.1 kg opium and Rs 44 lakh drug money near Chhabra Colony at Pakhowal Road in Ludhiana on February 1.
Three prisoners, identified as Vishal (22), Gurpreet (34) and Jarnail (25) escaped from Amritsar Central Jail on the intervening night of February 1-2.
According to some sources, the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) leader, Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD was murdered over an alleged illicit affair with a married Muslim woman from Pakistan. The sources said, Harmeet Singh was having an affair with a Pakistani woman from some time and did not pay heed to warnings from the family members of his paramour after their relation became an 'open secret'. "Earlier it was believed that Happy was killed in a gang war over drug money. He might have been killed over an illicit affair. The woman was a close relative of a Pakistani drug lord. He used to visit the family regularly and later developed intimate relations with the woman. Woman's family knew about their affair and had asked him to maintain a distance from the woman", sources added.
The Indian intelligence agencies suspect that the killing of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) leader, Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD is the fallout of a rivalry between three groups over control on drug money. An official said that, “There is an ongoing rivalry between Pakistan-based Khalistani groups led by Harmeet Singh, Khalistan Zindabad Force’s Ranjit Singh Neeta, and Paramjit Singh Panjwar of the Khalistan Commando Force. Initial reports suggest that drug money has been a major factor.”Harmeet Singh was wanted by various Indian agencies, including the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Punjab Police, in 17 cases.The official also added that the recent spurt in trafficking of Afghan-origin heroin through traditional sea routes via Pakistan had led to generation of huge money for the syndicates that were also being used to push weapons into India for terror activities.
The BSF personnel and some villagers reportedly spotted a drone-like object along the Indo-Pak border in Jalalabad subdivision of the Fazilka district of Punjab on February 2 evening. Jalalabad Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Jaspal Singh Dhillon said that the entire area had been searched to rule out dropping of drugs or arms in the area, but nothing was found.
The Special National Investigating Agency (NIA) court in Mohali declared alleged Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) terrorist, Kulwinderjit Singh alias Khanpuria as a proclaimed offender (PO). Kulwinderjit Singh, who is wanted in multiple cases of terror acts in Punjab, is reportedly in Malaysia. NIA had filed a charge sheet in a terror conspiracy case on November 21, 2019, against four alleged BKI terrorists including Kulwinderjit Singh and NIA had already got a lookout circular issued against him, an officer said.
In its latest tactics to step up the proxy war against India, Pakistan has now stooped to narco-terrorism to cause more damage and harm to India, says experts. According to experts, Pakistan has been vigorously supporting the widespread supply of drugs in the Indian state of Punjab, which will be spoiling an entire generation of youth in the state.“This is a double threat for India as Pakistan is not just working towards 'damaging the youth of Punjab', but is also making millions of rupees that are subsequently used to fund terrorism in Kashmir and other parts of the country”, said an expert.
According to sources, the Afghan national Armaan Bashar, who was arrested by the Special Task Force (STF) of Punjab Police on January 31, had been hired by drug smugglers for 50,000 dollars to refine 200 kg of heroin at an illicit unit in Sultanwind in Amritsar. While Bashar is the first such expert from Afghanistan to have been arrested in Punjab, investigators believe that the gang led by Simranjit Singh Sandhu may have hired two more experts from the country earlier and dumped hundreds of kilograms of heroin in the domestic market or abroad.
The Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) joined the Punjab Police’s anti-drug Special Task Force (STF) to probe the role of Simranjit Singh Sandhu in the racket allegedly involved in the smuggling of heroin to Punjab from Pakistan via sea route. Simranjit Singh Sandhu, who is in the custody of Interpol in Italy currently, has emerged as the prime suspect in the case involving the recovery of 194 kg heroin and chemicals by STF from a house in Sultanwind area on January 31. The STF claimed to have unearthed a heroin supply racket with overseas connections with this recovery. Meanwhile, the ATS team questioned the six accused arrested in the case. Sandhu was arrested recently in Italy on the basis of a Red Corner Notice (RCN) issued by the Interpol on request of the Gujarat ATS. Sandhu was wanted in a drug-trafficking case in which 300 kg heroin was smuggled from Pakistan to Mandvi in Gujarat.
The Special Task Force (STF) arrested one person, identified as Harminder Singh and seized 1.20 kg of heroin from his possession from near Samundgarh Chhanna T point in Sangrur district. The STF team officials said that two accomplices of the arrested accused managed to flee from the spot.
The services of Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Jatinder Singh, who was caught smuggling 50 gm of charas into the Kapurthala Modern Jail on February 4, were terminated on February 5. Though the ASI, posted with Jalandhar rural police, was assigned the duty to take prisoners from jail to court for hearings for the past one year, he claimed that this was the first time he had smuggled in drugs. He also told interrogators that a jail inmate had called up his accomplice to hand over the drugs to him when he was escorting prisoners to a Jalandhar court for a hearing.
According to counter-terrorism expert, Ajai Sahni, who serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi, labelling slain Khalistani terrorist Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD as a martyr is an exercise conducted at the behest of Khalistani secessionists in the Sikh diaspora. Ajai Sahni said that a handful of people working at the instructions of ageing Khalistanis, who had left India in the 1990s, were trying to give a Khalistani colour to every incident of this nature."There is a very small minority of individuals of this nature. Their efforts are to revive the Khalistani movement in the country. Overwhelmingly, they are led by people abroad. They manage to mobilize a handful of people here," he added.
The ‘Bhog’ ceremony of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) leader Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD, who was killed in Pakistan a week ago, was held at Gurdwara Shaheed Ganj in Railway Colony in Amritsar. Hardline Sikh leaders like, former Akal Takht jathedar Jasbir Singh Rode, Damdami Taksal’s spokesperson Sarchand Singh, Jarnail Singh Sakhira, Dal Khalsa leader Kanwarpal Singh, Principal Baljinder Singh, former militant Daljit Singh Bittu and Narayan Singh Chaura attended the event. The leaders glorified the slain militant leader by calling him ‘warrior’ of ‘contemporary Sikh struggle’. They also sought probe into his murder by an independent agency in Pakistan.
Punjab Police arrested three drug peddlers and recovered around 500 grams of heroin after an exchange of fire during a raid conducted at a house that was used as their hideout in Palm Garden in Amritsar district on February 5 night. Amritsar Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Kirpal Singh said that during the raid the accused men, who were staying at a rented accommodation, opened five to six rounds at the police team and the police team also returned fire. The three men who were identified as Gurpreet Singh, Paras and Sajan have been arrested while two others, Ganja Jandiala and Javed managed to escape, he said.
During the ‘Bhog’ ceremony conducted by the prominent Sikh seminary Damdami Taksal in the memory of slain Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) leader Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD, the Damdami Taksal spokesperson Sarchand Singh said that Harmeet Singh achieved ‘martyrdom’ in his struggle, initiated by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, in Pakistan.
Pakistan media and government have kept their silence over the killing of KLF chief Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD. Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) president Satwant Singh denied any knowledge about Harmeet’s killing or any Sikh outside Gurudwara Bebe Nanaki. “These are canards and there is not an iota of truth in them,” he said.
The Indian intelligence sources said that Harmeet Singh was ‘eliminated’ by Pakistan’s ISI for having failed to ‘prove his worth’ while being provided ‘protection’ along with other Sikh fugitives in Pakistan. Sources said that many Sikh fugitives in Pakistan were involved in drug trade and were using their connections and negligible support in Punjab for it. “If they fail to do the task given to them by ISI, they meet the same fate as that of Harmeet,” sources added.
In a poster circulated on social media, slain KLF chief Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD’s father Avtar Singh said he came to know about his son’s death through media reports and had appealed to Sikh organisations and individuals to converge in large number for his son’s ‘Antim Ardas’ (Final Prayers).
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) special court sought a report on the medical treatment being given to Malkit Singh alias Shera, who was arrested by the NIA in connection with the September 5, 2019 Tarn Taran blast case. The court has directed the Amritsar jail superintendent to file the report by March 5, 2020. Meanwhile, NIA also sought permission from the NIA court for procuring mobile data and Facebook records of the accused named in the Tarn Taran blast case. NIA had so far arrested five persons, identified as Malkit Singh alias Shera, Mandeep Singh alias Massa, Amritpal Singh, Chandeep Singh, and Amarjit Singh in the case. NIA sources said that the accused had support of the Sikh For Justice (SFJ) organisation and wanted to revive terrorism in Punjab. NIA had also said two accused, Bikram Singh alias Bicky alias Bikkar Singh and Harpreet Singh alias Happy, died on the spot while Gurjant Singh and Malkit Singh sustained injuries while they were trying to dig out an explosive buried by them in a vacant plot on the outskirts of Pandori Gola village in Tarn Taran District on September 5, 2019.
Police arrested a person, identified as Ajitpal Singh for peddling drugs and recovered 260 gm of heroin from him near Satluj bridge in Phillaur in Jalandhar districton February 6 night.
The management authority of Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara has lifted ban on Muslims for partaking langar at this historic Sikh shrine in Pakistan. The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC) president Satwant Singh informed that now all the non-Sikh pilgrims can also pay obeisance and partake langar at Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib but they would have to cover their heads while entering into the Gurdwara premises.
The Member of Parliament (MP) from Ludhiana, Ravneet Singh Bittu accused Akal Takht Jathedar Harpreet Singh of “promoting and encouraging killers and hence giving the wrong message to Sikh youths in Punjab that those who will kill will be appreciated and honoured”. He further said that Harpreet Singh should focus on religious affairs not politics, but if he wishes to interfere in politics, then he must fight an election. Ravneet Singh Bittu, the grandson of former chief minister late Beant Singh, was reacting to a video in which Jathedar Harpreet Singh, is purportedly seen delivering a speech at the bhog ceremony of the mother of Paramjit Singh Bheora, who was among those convicted for the assassination of Bittu’s grandfather. In the clip, the Jathedar is also purportedly heard appreciating those who executed the assassination and calling them “veer yoddhey”.The Akal Takht Jathedar is heard saying in the video, “Jis mukhmantri de raaz vich eh sab kuch ho rehasi...uss mukhmantri nu sodheya ehna saadey soor veer yoddheyan ne… (The CM under whose regime all that was happening, that CM was punished by our courageous warriors)”.
According to reports, Pakistan’s National Assembly was informed that a proposal for allowing passport-free entry for Sikh pilgrims to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur was under consideration, in order to attract more visitors. Interior Minister Ijaz Shah said that a proposal for entry without passport, in order to attract more visitors, was under consideration, for which detailed input might be sought from the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) figures shows that the areas under Ludhiana rural police had witnessed third highest recoveries of drugs among police districts and Commissionerate’s in the state in 2018. The Ludhiana police Commissionerate is ranked 9th in the list.As per the NCRB data, Amritsar rural and Jalandhar rural districts were number one and two with 1,179 and 950 cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, respectively, followed by Ludhiana rural police district with 859 cases. Ludhiana police Commissionerate reported 495 cases under the NDPS Act in 2018. Analysis of sub-categories revealed Ludhiana Commissionerate was at the sixth spot as far as the cases of possession of drugs for personal consumption was concerned. The city witnessed 439 such cases in that year. Taran Tarn, Sangrur, Ludhiana rural, Kapurthala, and Patiala were at number 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 witnessing 715, 630, 550, 498, and 478 cases, respectively. Ludhiana police Commissionerate had just 56 cases of possession of drugs for trafficking, whereas Amritsar rural witnessed highest such cases at 1,179, Jalandhar rural 715 and Bathinda 545. The number of cases related to NDPS Act in Ludhiana commissionerate was less as compared to the previous year. However, social activists say that the data does not present the actual picture.
The Special Task Force (STF) arrested Punjabi actor Mantej Mann in connection with smuggling, processing and refining of 194 kg heroin recovered from the house of the Shiromani Akali Dal leader Manwar Masih in Amritsar on January 31. STF Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kaushtubh Sharma said that Mantej’s name came up during investigation of already arrested accused in the case following which a team arrested him for further investigation.
The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will visit Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur next week during a trip to Pakistan, his Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq said. Kartarpur will be on the itinerary of Guterres''s visit to Pakistan to participate in an international conference on that country hosting Afghan refugees for 40 years, Haq said. Meanwhile, Rajwant Singh, the co-founder of the National Sikh Campaign, said that "The Secretary-General''s visit to the shrine will amplify Guru Nanak Dev''s message for peaceful coexistence of all religions and signal to the entire world that Kartarpur is internationally a very sacred place."
A National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mohali sent three arrested accused in the drug smuggling case involving the slain Pakistan-based Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) member Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD, to the NIA custody. According to NIA officials, the court sent three accused, Nirmal Singh, Satpal Singh and Hiralal for seven days to the agency’s custody. The case pertains to the arrest of three accused persons with 500 grams of heroin and Rs 1.2 lakh in drug money for which a case was registered in Amritsar. The NIA official said that during investigation, role of Harmeet Singh, whois believed to have been killed in Pakistan, has emerged in running a cross-border narco-terror network through drug smugglers, militant elements and hawala operatives based in Punjab and other states in India.
The convicted Khalistani terrorist, Jaspal Atwal was arrested in Surrey in British Columbia, Canada. According to the sources, Atwal allegedly threatened his former Media Waves Radio manager Ashiana Khan while she was having dinner with a small group of people at the Civic Hotel at 13475 Central Ave in Surrey. This is at least the second time Atwal has been arrested since he made international headlines for being part of Trudeau’s India visit in 2018. He was also once a member of the Khalistani militant group, International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF), which has been designated a terror entity by the Canadian government.
Police arrested two persons, Balwinder Singh and Balwinder Singh and recovered 24 kg of poppy husk from near Kikarwala Rupa village in Fazilka district.
Police arrested two men, Gurdip Singh and Ajay Kumar along with 10 gm of heroin, a pistol and six live cartridges in Fazilka district of Punjab.
The National Investigating Agency (NIA) special court in Mohali issued Non-Bailable Warrants (NBWs) against two Khalistani terrorists belonging to the Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) in a case related to dropping of arms and ammunition in Punjab by drones originating from Pakistan. NBWs were issued against KZF chief Ranjeet Singh Neeta,a resident of R. S. Pura in Jammu, who is based in Pakistan at present and Gurmeet Singh alias Bagga, a resident of Hoshiarpur district in Punjab who is based in Germany now. An NIA spokesperson said that, "During investigation, role of Neeta, Pakistan based chief of Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF), a proscribed terrorist organisation and Singh, a key operative of KZF based in Hamburg, Germany has been found in the conspiracy of trafficking of illegal arms, ammunition, explosives, communication devices and FICNs into India to further terrorist activities." The duo is wanted for dropping arms and ammunition and fake currency notes in September 2019 at Chola Sahib in Punjab via unmanned aerial vehicles or drones that originated from Pakistan. A case against the two was filed under Sections 489-A, 489-B, 489-C and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Explosive Substances Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Prisoners Act in Amritsar.Nine persons have been arrested in this case till now and the probe is ongoing, the NIA spokesperson said.
The Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab, Dinkar Gupta expressed the need for modern anti-drone technology to check the menace of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that have been making drugs and weapons drops in the Punjab region since last year. He said that the state police was in talks with the Indian Air Force (IAF), Border Security Force (BSF), Indian Army and intelligence agencies to counter the drone menace, which, he feared, could lead to the next round of militancy in the state. Punjab Police is concerned about the growing use of technology in a narco-terrorism racket from across the border in Pakistan, with about 40 movements of sophisticated UAVs noticed in the Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Ferozpur and Fazilka districts of Punjab.
According to Indian official sources, since the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) mounted pressure against Pakistan government, terror groups based in Pakistan have been smuggling weapons for their recruits in Jammu and Kashmir via Punjab. It said that since the February 2019 Pulwama suicide attack, dozens of weapons enroute Jammu and Kashmir, have been seized in Punjab. There has also been a rise in the Pakistan-originating Chinese drones dropping weapons and communication devices in Punjab following the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status on August 5, 2019.Pakistan-based terror groups have sent at least eight drone sorties, air-dropping 80 kg of weapons in Punjab during the last few months, sources said.
The Special Task Force (STF) arrested three persons, identified as Simarjit Singh alias Simmi, Varinder Kumar alias Vinkal and Rajwant Singh alias Raj and recovered 200 gm of heroin, besides one country-made pistol and two live rounds from them in Ferozepur district.
An undertrial drug smuggler, identified as Manjit Singh alias Chappi escaped from the police custody after he was produced before a Sessions Court in Hoshiarpur in Punjab.
Punjab Police on February 13 claimed that they have arrested 23 criminals from Ferozepur and adjoining states Haryana and Rajasthan, based on information revealed by the gangster Sukhpreet Singh alias Budha who was arrested in November 2019. Budha, the wanted gangster, was deported from Armenia and arrested when he landed at the Delhi airport in November 2019. The DGP, Dinkar Gupta said that "Budha made several revelations, which led the state police to solve many untraced heinous crimes in Punjab."He added that the arrested criminals were facing charges of murder, dacoity and extortion, kidnapping and targeted killing. Police have also recovered 36 firearms from the criminals and four shops dealing in guns have been sealed.
The officiating Akal Takht Jathedar, Giani Harpreet Singh said that he would be happy to receive Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu but in the presence of kin of those who were killed during the tenure of Beant Singh as Chief Minister. Bittu, the grandson of Beant Singh, on February 12 said he wanted to ask the Jathedar about what action he intended to take against him. Earlier, Bittu had objected to the Jathedar’s remarks hailing Paramjit Singh Bheora, convicted in the Beant assassination case.
An unidentified caller threatened to kill the Congress’ Member of Parliament (MP) from Ludhiana, Ravneet Singh Bittu and another local party leader Gursimran Singh Mand in Punjab. Gursimran Singh Mand said that the caller gave the threat in a three-minute long call on February 13 evening in which the person also used abusive language against late Chief Minister Beant Singh. Ravneet Singh Bittu is the grandson of Beant Singh who was killed by Khalistani militants in 1995. Bittu had been threatened by the radical Khalistani elements earlier as well.
The top Sikh body, Akal Takht extended its support to the Muslim groups that have been protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) for weeks. After meeting with a delegation led by Delhi Minority Commission chief Zafarul Islam Khan, the Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpeet Singh stated that there is a sentiment of fear and insecurity among the minorities and the Sikhs are bound to stand by the oppressed. "Sikhs are bound by their principles to stand for the victim and against injustice. We had received a similar request from another group of the Muslim community. There is a sentiment of fear and insecurity among minorities and it is not good for the country," he said. He asked the Muslim leaders to also seek the support of Hindu groups against the CAA.
Police arrested two persons, identified as Hardeep Singh and Janaki Prashad for their alleged involvement in drug smuggling and recovered 4 kg opium from their possession from the T-point on Sirhind-Patiala road near Chaurwala village in Fatehgarh Sahib district.
A Sikh leaders delegation led by the Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa met the Akal Takht officiating Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh and requested his intervention to end monopoly on the live telecast of Gurbani from Golden Temple. However, Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh directed the preachers to refrain from controversial issues while delivering discourse on Gurbani. He said that the purpose was to spread a message that the preaching references should be quoted only from Gurbani so that there should be no confusion among the Sikhs.
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) objected to the restoration of the 17th century palace in Delhi, Sheesh Mahal where sixth Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s coronation took place in 1658. DSGMC president Manjinder Singh Sirsa and other members on February 15 called the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb “a cruel leader and a murderer,” and said that it was unfortunate that the decision to renovate the structure was taken in the 400th birth anniversary year of Guru Tegh Bahadur. “Guru Tegh Bahadur sacrificed his life against Aurangzeb’s attempts of forceful conversions. It is surprising that Aurangzeb has been glorified despite his atrocities on Sikh gurus. People need to be reminded of his bloody past, instead of glorifying things associated with him,” said Sirsa, who is also a member of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
Police arrested one person, identified as Vishav along with 21 gm of heroin from near DSP chowk in Fazilka district. Sources said that Vishav had been bringing the contraband from Nawan Salemshah village.
Police arrested two persons, identified as Karan Kumar and Sajan Kumar, for allegedly taking drugs at a secluded place near gate number 2 of the local grain market in Fazilka district. Police recovered 2 gm of heroin from them.
The Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab, Dinkar Gupta said that after the interrogation of gangster Sukhpreet Budda and arms supplier Ashish, the Punjab police had found that their two key aides - Jagdeep Singh alias Jagga and Gurvinder Singh alias Pehalwan - had a nexus with operators in Pakistan. Both the accused were arrested and one-kg heroin and Pakistan SIM cards were seized in a joint operation of the Organised Crime Control Unit and Mohali police on February 13. Investigation so far has revealed that the duo had received a large quantity of heroin and fake Indian currency from Pakistan through various routes via different modes. They were wanted by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Rajasthan Police and Punjab Police in cases related to receiving huge consignments of heroin from Pakistan.
United States 16-Feb-2020
A group of Sikhs residing in US celebrated the 73rd birthday of the Khalistani extremist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale at Gurudwara Sikh Cultural Society of Richmond Hill in New York, US. Pro-Khalistani leaders like Amarjit Singh (SAD-Amritsar), Sarabjit Singh, Amandeep Singh (Youth Akali Dal America’s president), Dr. Amarjit Singh etc. were present on the occasion.
United Kingdom 16-Feb-2020
The Indian diaspora in the UK in collaboration with Lalkar Social Forum and other Pakistani human rights activists staged a protest outside the Pakistan High Commission in London seeking justice for the minor Hindu girl, Mehak Kumari who was abducted, forcibly converted to Islam and married to a Muslim man in Sindh.
United Kingdom 17-Feb-2020
Pakistani human rights activists and members of the Indian community continued their protest for the second day on February 17 outside the Pakistan High Commission in London seeking justice for the minor Hindu girl, Mehak Kumari who was forcibly converted to Islam and married to a Muslim man in Sindh. She was abducted by a man, Ali Raza, from the Jacobabad district of Sindh province on January 15. The girl said she was forced to accept Islam, causing a widespread furor among the Islamic fanatics.
According to NIA sources, for the past few months, reports of links between Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) and Khalistani militants have been surfacing in the media. The growing incidents of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones dropping arms and drugs in the border districts of Punjab, which shares a border with Pakistan, have raised an alarm for security agencies. The speculations are that JeM’s support to Khalistan outfit will revive the militancy in Punjab state as well. The investigation agencies also received inputs that the two HM terrorists, recently arrested with a Jammu and Kashmir police officer, had connections with Khalistani outfits in Punjab as well. Even an over ground worker (OGW) arrested in the January 31 encounter had revealed that a group of terrorists associated with JeM existed in Amritsar in Punjab. Furthermore, in September 2019, Punjab state authorities had warned the central government after eight drones were allegedly used by Pakistan to airdrop a large number of AK-47 assault rifles and grenades into Amritsar city.“It is the jihadi outfits who have shared the drone capabilities with the Khalistani groups, and our understanding is that outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed have a whole inventory of these drones,” the Director General of Police (DG), Punjab, Dinkar Gupta said.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court described Pakistan as “enemy nation” before denying bail to a 78-year-old man arrested on the basis of suspicion in a case revolving around cross-border smuggling of narcotics. While dismissing the bail plea of the petitioner who was arrested in 2018 for drug smuggling, Justice Ramendra Jain asserted that “This court is not inclined to grant concession of regular bail to the petitioner, keeping in view the heavy recovery of narcotics near the fencing of Indian border, adjoining enemy nation Pakistan.”
The Special Task Force (STF) arrested two more persons, identified as Malkeet Singh and Kuldeep Singh in connection with the seizure of 450 kg of drugs, including 197 kg heroin in Patra in Patiala district. According to STF officials, the accused used to work as couriers and they used to smuggle heroin in the holy city (Amritsar) on the directions of cloth trader and kingpin Ankush Kapoor. Investigations also revealed that they had ferried around 200 kg of heroin so far. With the arrest of the duos, the STF has so far arrested nine persons in the case.
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Manjinder Singh Sirsa demanded immediate citizenship for around 160 Pakistani Hindu, Sikh refugee families who have been living in unhygienic conditions in jhuggis and semi-permanent structures on the Yamuna floodplain near Majnu Ka Tila in north Delhi. He said that around 60 of these families had reached Delhi from Pakistan between February 2 and 15, while 10 families had come just a day ago.
A Sub Inspector (SI), identified as Pritpal Singh was arrested along with 20 gm of heroin when he was trying to smuggle drugs inside the Sangrur Jail in Sangrur district.
The Special Task Force (STF) arrested a money exchanger, identified as Harmeet Singh in connection with the seizure of 450-kg drugs, from Amritsar. The STF claimed that detained money exchanger might have involvement in the making payments for drugs.
United Nations (UN) chief Antonio Guterres, during his visit to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, said that the opening of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor is a practical example of Pakistan's desire for peace and inter-faith harmony. He said the opening of the corridor is a good step and it will promote tolerance and interfaith harmony. The UN chief appreciated the facilities being provided to Sikh pilgrims at the complex.
Activists of various Sikh organisations including former Akal Takht Jathedars, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti and Giani Gurbachan Singh staged a street march demanding the status of ‘holy city’ for Amritsar and removal of meat shops, liquor vends and tobacco stores from the vicinity of the Golden Temple, bus stand and railway stations.They urged the Punjab government to remove these shops and vends as it hurt the sanctity of the city and religious sentiments of the devotees visiting the Golden Temple.
According to Mumbai police sources, the arrest of several members of an international gang of drug smugglers operating from Canada, Jalandhar in Punjab and Sydney in Australia has shed light on the possible links of some of them to the Khalistan movement. As per Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) statement in December 2019, nine members of the gang, including some foreigners, were arrested last year from different parts of North India, including Punjab, Delhi, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. Five of the arrested were Indians of whom two are from Jalandhar. Sources said that the drug smuggling racket was run by Canadian nationals of Indian-origin who had migrated from Punjab. At least some of them are suspected to be part of the Khalistan movement still active in Canada. The racket came to light last June after the authorities in Australia intercepted a plasma cutting machine in which more than 55 kg of cocaine were concealed.
The Special Task Force (STF) arrested a Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader, Anwar Masih in connection with the seizure of 450-kg drugs from his house at Akash Vihar in Sultanwind village in Amritsar district. This is the ninth arrest in the case. Anwar Masih, who is a former member of the Subordinate Services Selection Board, was produced in court, which sent him to two-day police custody. The investigation revealed that the accused refined and manufactured drugs in Masih’s house for more than a month before the racket was busted on January 30. When the drugs were seized, Masih had feigned ignorance about the nefarious activities in his house, which he had rented out to the accused.
The Special Task Force (STF) arrested a Sub-Inspector, Amandeep Singh Gill, station house officer (SHO) of the Division 2 police station, and his driver, Ajay Kumar along with 10 gm of heroin from Khasi Kalan village in Ludhiana district. They were part of a racket operating in Ludhiana with help of police officers who would allegedly “detain drug peddlers first and then keep drug recovered from them to either sell or consume”. The STF further claimed that this gang of police officials would later release these peddlers after taking huge sums as bribe. STF Inspector General RK Jaiswal said that while the alleged drug dealers' car and mobile phones were found hidden on the police station premises, the drugs were recovered from the SHO's residence.
Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh left for Pakistan to take part in a religious function - Saka Nankana (Nankana massacre) - at the Nankana Sahib on February 21. He crossed over to Pakistan from Attari-Wagah border. He said that “I am going to Pakistan to observe anniversary function of 100 years old event to liberate Nankana Sahib. There are total 13 members in delegation. Martyrdom anniversary is being commemorated by the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC).”
In a joint operation, Police along with the BSF, recovered 4.122 kg of heroin, 52 gm of opium, one China- made pistol, and 25 cartridges with two magazines which were 50 feet deep under the earth towards the Indian side from zero line in Tarn Taran district. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Dhruv Dahiya said that it was the handiwork of Indian smugglers with the connivance of their counterparts across the border.
Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, who was recently expelled by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), said that religious bodies like the Akal Takht and the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) should be kept out of politics. He said in Amritsar that "Akal Takht and SGPC should be away from politics as the institutions are purely religious."
A recent report by a Deputy Commissioner to Punjab Chief Secretary suggests that cross-border smuggling of AK-47 rifles and contraband such as heroin is taking place in the garb of mining in the Ferozepur area in Punjab. The detailed report was submitted to a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which is currently hearing petitions against the state and other respondents in the mines and minerals category.Taking a note of the report and the details, the Bench of Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Karamjit Singh has sought action taken report in the matter.
United States 20-Feb-2020
A delegation of the pro-Khalistani group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), a proscribed group in India,met with White House officials ahead of the US President Donald Trump’s visit to India. The meeting was held hours after Trump announced that the trade-deal between India and the United States will not be taking place during his India visit. Though, Government of India has not made any official statement regarding this, top Government sources revealed that India is definitely disappointed by the meeting between the secessionist group leaders and the White House officials. It would have been better if the US administration had called off the meet at such a crucial time, because it can strengthen the anti-India forces.
Akal Takht acting Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh, during a religious function (Saka Nankana Sahib) at Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, demanded that the governments of India and Pakistan waive the condition of passport for Indian pilgrims visiting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan through the Kartarpur Corridor. He said the condition of carrying passport as identity proof is the main reason behind the low turnout of Indian pilgrims at the Kartarpur shrine, the last resting place of Guru Nanak. He also met family members of Jagjit Kaur, who was allegedly converted to Islam forcibly and married to a Muslim man in Nankana Sahib.
Police raided a ‘Dhani’ (a cluster of houses) and arrested four persons for drug peddling near Chamarkhera village on the Abohar-Sadulshehar road in Fazilka District.
The Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab, Dinkar Gupta said that the visa-free passage cleared for Sikh pilgrims at the Kartarpur Corridor was ‘a huge security challenge from a terrorism point of view’. He said that “Kartarpur offers a potential that you send somebody in the morning as an ordinary chap and by evening he comes back a trained terrorist. You are there for six hours, you can be taken to a firing range, you can be taught to make an IED.” “It is a huge concern… that is why it was not opened for all these years. I was in Intelligence Bureau for eight years… The feeling was that it (the corridor) will be a huge security challenge. But after that, as the community wanted it, the diaspora wanted it, it was decided why can’t this dream be realised. So, all those security concerns were put on the backburner,” the DGP said.
The Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab, Dinkar Gupta said that there was no religious connotation in his remarks about Kartarpur Corridor made at an event on February 20. The DGP also said that his statements were misunderstood or ‘willfully misconstrued’. In a statement, he stated that “I rejoiced at the opening of the Sri Kartarpur Sahib Corridor which has fulfilled the decades-old aspirations of millions of devotees like myself all over the world who profess their faith in Guru Nanak Dev Ji and his divine teachings." "Their daily 'ardas' for 'khulle darshan-deedaar' of religious shrines, that are in post-Partition Pakistan, was finally answered. It was a matter of even greater happiness that it coincided with the 550th Prakash Purab of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji," he said. "As the state DGP, I assure that we will continue to strive to work towards facilitating trouble-free access to the holy shrine of Sri Kartarpur Sahib," he added. He also said that as the DGP of the state, which is faced with the continuing battle against violent extremism that continues to be funded and supported from across the border, he cannot overemphasize the need to remain vigilant. "I only red-flagged the obvious 'potential' for misuse by elements notorious for their hostility towards India and their effort to exploit every opportunity, even the most pious one, to disturb the peace and communal harmony," the DGP said.
The opposition parties in Panjab, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), accused DGP Dinkar Gupta of hurting the sentiments of the Sikh community by making irresponsible remarks in the context of pilgrims visiting the Kartarpur Gurudwara in Pakistan through the newly built corridor.The AAP leaders even demanded that a criminal case be filed against the DGP for his insensitive statement and that he be given the marching orders.
The Dal Khalsa, in a letter urged the US president Donald Trump prior to his scheduled visit to India, to debunk India’s hollow arguments that whatever it does to its minorities is its internal matter. It also urged Trump to exert pressure on India to ensure respect for human rights of struggling nationalities and acceptance of their right to sovereign self-rule through the right to self-determination.The letter, which was sent via US Ambassador to India, was shared with the media by Kanwar Pal Singh and other office bearers at a press conference held at party office.
Unidentified assailants opened fire outside Shiv Sena office at Chandigarh road in Sector 39 in Ludhiana. The bullet hit in the Ford Endeavor SUV parked outside the office. Shiv Sena (Hindustan) president Amit Arora and the party’s state youth president Mani Sheera were sitting inside the office.
United Kingdom 23-Feb-2020
UK based KLF militants had assembled to discuss the future course of the group after the death of Happy PHD. A total of eight persons, Gursharanvir Singh, Amritveer Singh, Avtar Singh Khandaand Amanveer Singh, attended the meeting. Gursharanvir vouched for himself citing his close ties with former KLF ‘chiefs’ -Happy PhD, Mintooo. While asking to avoid Italian and swiss contender he called for the continuation of violent activities.
The suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Balwinder Singh Sekhon accused the Food and Civil Supplies minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu of masterminding a bomb blast at Gur Mandi area of Ludhiana in 1992. He also alleged that minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu is a former Khalistani terrorist who worked with Bhindranwale Tiger Force of Khalistan (BTFK) and demanded his removal for involvement in anti-national and heinous crimes. Balwinder Singh Sekhon said, "The statements given by Ashu to the police in 1992 say he was part of Bhindranwale Tiger Force of Khalistan (BTFK) that used to harbour arms and ammunition provided logistics support to Khalistani terrorists and was involved in the murder of three people including a lady Home Guard, Constable Shyam Sundar and his uncle. He is a very dangerous person and can kill me. He should be removed as a minister." Balwinder Singh Sekhon also accused that the minister not only conspired the 1992 Ludhiana bomb blast, but also confessed his involvement in a triple murder case reported the same year."Charanjit alias Swarnjit alias Channa a hardcore Bhindranwale Tiger Force of Khalistan (BTFK) besides five other ultras were associated with my father and used to visit my dairy located at Dairy Complex, Haibowal. I used to take care of their weapons as nobody suspected me", copies of a police statement claimed to have been given by Ashu to then SP City Ludhiana SS Sandhu on May 6, 1992, issued to the media said. He also said that Ashu had established links with the Khalistani terrorists to kill his uncle Jagdish Chand who he suspected had killed his parents.
The Akal Takht acting Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh said that Pakistan is a safe country and maximum Sikhs from India should visit all historic Gurudwaras there. The Jathedar, in a video shared by Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) president Satwant Singh, said “Historic gurudwaras hold big importance for Sikhs. ‘Darshan-didar’ of these gurudwaras has given me immense pleasure and peace of mind. I have no word to recognize the love shown by Pakistan’s sangat and common people towards me. Not only me, locals also share warm vibes with every person coming from India here.”“People of both India and Pakistan don’t need to fear visiting each other’s country. Pakistanis are loved by people in India,” he said.
The opposition parties, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), raked up the issue of the controversial remark made by Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta regarding pilgrims visiting the Kartarpur Gurudwara through the newly built corridor inside the State Assembly. The opposition parties also sought sacking of Cabinet Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu in the backdrop of allegations levelled by suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police Balwinder Singh Sekhon of masterminding a bomb blast in the Gur Mandi area of Ludhiana in 1992. Soon after ‘Question Hour’ started, members of SAD and AAP shouted slogans and demanded action against the DGP and the Cabinet Minister.
Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Captain Amarinder Singh, in the State Assembly, said that the Kartarpur Corridor would not be allowed to shut down at any cost. He said that Punjab government had left no stone unturned to make the corridor a success. The CM, while replying to the opposition demand to dismiss DGP Dinkar Gupta over his purported statements on Kartarpur Corridor, said that DGP had already apologized and the opposition was milking the issue for political capital.CM said that everyone should understand security concerns of the country vis-à-vis a hostile neighbour. Meanwhile, the CM defended his cabinet colleague, Bharat Bhushan Ashu after a suspended DSP had alleged that he had harboured a group of terrorists in 1992. He said, “The TADA case being raked by the opposition against the Minister has already been closed.”
The Punjab State Assembly passed a resolution urging the Central government to ask Pakistan to do away with the condition that pilgrims using the Kartarpur Corridor must hold passports.The Assembly also sought a reduction in the USD 20 fee that Pakistan charges Indian pilgrims using the visa-free facility to visit the Sikh shrine in Kartarpur Sahib.
The Akal Takht officiating Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh said that “DGP Dinkar Gupta’s should quit on moral grounds as his comments has hurt the sentiments of the Sikhs.” The Jathedar, who returned from Pakistan, said that if a Sikh could become an extremist after a six-hour visit to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur, he had spent so many days in Pakistan but never returned to be so. “It is appreciable that the DGP had apologised for his objectionable comments. I do not insist but I believe that he should tender his resignation morally. His comments had hurt the sentiments of the Sikhs across the globe and it was an unpardonable mistake on his part to pass such remarks,” he added.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh stated that the apprehensions of a threat to the security of the people and the country were serious, however these apprehensions are not because the Corridor (Kartarpur Corridor) has been opened but because of the 'Maardi Neeyat [bad intent] of Pakistan. He further added that "After meddling in Kashmir for long, the ISI had only one task now -- to disturb the peace of Punjab. Pakistan was blatantly trying to foment trouble in the state." He also pointed out that 35,000 Punjabis and 1,700 policemen had lost their lives, in addition to the Army soldiers, during the years of militancy in the stare, and our responsibility is to ensure this does not happen again.
The Dal Khalsa, through a statement, sought the resignation of Union Home Minister Amit Shah for allowing non-state actors to collude and connive with Delhi police to unleash mayhem and terror on anti-CAA protesters. It said, “This is a gross failure of the entire Indian system comprising a hateful government, a biased bureaucracy and an indifferent justice system.”
Police arrested a drug peddler who was out on bail, identified as Hardeep Singh alias Kaka and recovered 110 intoxicant injections and 110 bottles of intoxicant from his custody in Fatehgarh Sahib district.The preliminary investigation revealed that the peddler was earlier booked in NDPS Act and was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment and has now just come out of jail after five years on bail and again started supplying drugs.
Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh, while raising concerns about the security threat to the bordering state from Pakistan in State Assembly, revealed that “In three years what we have achieved through checking their (Pakistan) nefarious designs is that we have busted 32 terrorist modules propped up by them. We have arrested 154 terrorists, confiscated 41 rifles, 136 revolvers and pistols, 35 hand grenades including those used in the Nirankari Bhawan attack in Amritsar, 3.5 kg of RDX, two smart phones and Rs 30 lakhs in fake currency.”Showing pictures of Chinese drones, he said this was pressed by Pakistan into Punjab which was capable of carrying heavy payloads.“These are the drones which we were able to catch and we do not how many such drones are still there with people of Punjab. There are radical Sikhs in Punjab and several of them in countries abroad. Those NRIs go directly to Kartarpur Sahib. We do not know what they do there and who they meet”, he said.
A joint team of the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and Special Task Force (STF) is investigating the possibility of linking the seizure of around 450-kg narcotics from a house in Sultanwind village in Punjab on January 31 with the seizure of around 300 kg of contraband by the ATS from Gujarat last year. The ATS also arrested three more suspects following the interrogation of cloth trader Ankush Kapoor and gym trainers Sukhdip Singh, Sukhwinder Singh and Major Singh, who were arrested along with the contraband in the preliminary stages of the case.
According to report, four Gurdaspur-based pilgrims, who had visited Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur in Pakistan in January this year, were questioned due to their not so convincing pilgrimage. The Intelligence Bureau (IB), in a letter written to the Superintendent of Police (SP), Gurdaspur, has sent details of four pilgrims who visited Kartarpur Sahib in January this year. The letter said all these pilgrims were questioned as the purpose of their visit was "not entirely convincing". Punjab Minister Sukhjinder Randhawa, while reading the IB letter in Punjab Assembly on February 27, said,"The following Indian nationals visited Gurudwara Shri Kartarpur Sahib (GSKS) Pakistan via a corridor. During interrogation, the purpose of their visit was not entirely convincing. Anything of interest may kindly be shared with us.” Those interrogated by the IB are Sukhdeep Singh (who visited Kartarpur Sahib on January 25), Ranjit Singh (visited Kartarpur on January 25), Prabhjit Singh (visited Kartarpur on January 23), and an unnamed person hails from Bhikhriwal in Gurdaspurhad visited Kartarpur on January 23 and is also unemployed and is ‘keen to settle in Canada’.
Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Captain Amarinder Singh said that Punjab Police had questioned some of the pilgrims returning through Kartarpur Corridor in the request of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), in the interest of national security. The CM, defending the police action, said that in fact, had the Gurdaspur police failed to cooperate with IB in the wake of security concerns expressed by the latter, he would have taken strict action against the former. He added that as the police force of a border state, the Punjab Police had acted within permissible limits of functioning in the matter.
Police busted a drug racket and arrested two persons, identified as Kulwinder Singh and Raman Kumar along with 11 kg of heroin on the Sutlej bridge in Phillaur subdivision of Jalandhar district.
A controversy erupted when a school in New Delhi questioned its seventh-grade students about a ‘Sikh militant group’ in one of the examinations. Akali Dal leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa demanded immediate action against the school and termed the incident as intentional brainwashing. He said that the school was brainwashing the students into blaming Sikhs and to term them as terrorists. As per the sources, the question has also upset the Sikh community in Punjab who feel that the question was not required since it is related to a particular religion.
According to Indian intelligence sources, the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) and its parent body Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) recently honoured pro-Khalistan Sikh leader Gopal Singh Chawla in Pakistan. The sources said that the move showed that Chawla was still an integral part of PSGPC and ETPB, as he was still being honoured by the two bodies. Earlier, Chawla, who is the chairman of Punjabi Sikh Sangat in Pakistan, was removed from PSGPC in 2019, after India had exerted pressure on Pakistan over his links with 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed. The move had come as India had refused to sign the agreement on Kartarpur corridor if Chawla continued to be a member of the committee. However, the intelligence source informed that since ISI-controlled ETPB used Chawla for instigating Sikhs and holding anti-India demonstrations in Pakistan, his removal from the two bodies was just a cosmetic change. “But he has always been present during important events at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib. He has also been allotted a room at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib complex, Kartapur Sahib,” said the source.
The president of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Gobind Singh Longowal sought action against the police officers who are harassing Sikh pilgrims returning back after paying obeisance at Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. Longowal said that it is a very bad routine which has panicked the pilgrims and it can affect the Kartarpur corridor if it is not stopped immediately. He also said that this practice of Punjab government seems an intentional step to bring the people of Punjab under suspicion due to which they are feeling alienated.
Another prime suspect in the recent recovery of 450-kg of narcotic substances, including 197-kg heroin, identified as Sahil Sharma surrendered before the court in Amritsar. The court sent him to jail. Earlier, the STF had confiscated around 450-kg of narcotic substances from a house in Akash Vihar in Sultanwind village on January 31 and arrested six persons.
Pakistan’s Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sahibzada Noor-ul-Haq Qadri stated that the work on Kartarpur corridor project phase II would be started soon. The minister, while chairing a ministerial meeting to contemplate the approval of PC1 of Kartarpur project, said that in the second phase hotel and market would be constructed to meet the requirements of international tourism.
Police arrested a drug smuggler, identified as Jasvir Singh along with 100 gm of heroin from the outskirts of Rattian village in Moga district.
Rajya Sabha MP (Member of Parliament) Partap Bajwa alleged shoddy investigations into cases involving drug mafia in Punjab. Bajwa, in a letter to the Union Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad, pointed out that no effort had been made by the Centre or Punjab to take forward the investigations on the basis of report on a police-politician-drug mafia nexus, submitted by the STF led by Harpreet Singh Sidhu.
The Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) and Anti-Narcotics Cell of Sangrur arrested one man, identified as Harbans Singh along with 150 gm of heroin in Sangrur district. According to police, apart from his arrest, police have also registered a case against his two relatives, including Kaka Singh and Salim.
The controversial Punjabi singer, Shubhdeep Singh alias Sidhu Moosewala approached Akal Takht voluntarily and tendered an apology. Moosewala was recently embroiled in a controversy over repeatedly using objectionable lyrics in his songs.
The Tarn Taran blast accused, Massa Singh alias Mandeep Singh alleged that officials of National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Central Jail in Amritsar tortured and harassed him in judicial custody. Massa Singh moved an application through his counsel advocate Jaspal Singh Manjhpur before the special NIA judge Karunesh Kumar in Mohali. Manjhpur said that they had demanded strict action against that the officials concerned.The judge has served a notice to the NIA and the jail authorities to file a reply by March 26.
The Barnala police arrested four persons with 40,01,040 intoxicating tablets, capsules and injections worth Rs 4-5 crore in two incidents in Barnala and Mathura. According to Police, interrogation of the main accused, Mittal, who was receiving the drugs at his medical store, had unveiled a chain of supply of psychotropic drugs into Punjab from other states. The accused used to store the contraband in a godown at the Masani bypass in Saraswati Kund in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.
Dal Khalsa activists entered into a scuffle with members of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) task force over the release of the original version of Nanakshahi calendar from the Akal Takht secretariat in Amritsar. The calendar carried a photograph of the Kartarpur corridor opening ceremony being addressed by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Later, the Takht secretariat in charge intervened and allowed the Dal Khalsa members to release the calendar from the outside platform of the secretariat.
Police arrested three drug smugglers, including a woman, and recovered 21 kg gaanja from their possession in Phagwara in Kapurthala district on March 6 evening. The accused had been identified as Bihari migrants Manoj Kumar, Sanjit Kumar and Lalita Rani.
Around 3.58 gm heroin was recovered from a prisoner in the Sangrur Central Jail in Sangrur district. Assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Amrik Singh said that “Accused Gurjit Singh had been facing trial in an NDPS case. On Friday, when he was taken to the jail after conviction, the head warden seized 3.58-gm heroin from him. We have registered another NDPS case against him
Several families that were affected by militancy in Punjab sought an increase in the pension amount. At present, these families are getting Rs 5,000 per month. An NGO, Rashtriya Suraksha Samiti, which took up the cause of victims, has demanded that the monthly pension should be linked with price index. There has been a 15-fold hike even in the price for LPG cylinder over the years, but no hike in pension was granted, Samiti secretary Sita Ram Sharma said. The victim families maintain that the successive governments had failed to provide justice to the militancy-hit people in Punjab. Their demand of suitable compensation had not been met till now, they said.
As per data from an official of department concerned, 59,318 pilgrims visited the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur, Pakistan, from the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor in November 9 last year to March 8. No considerable surge was witnessed in the footfall of the pilgrims using the corridor, even though India had raised the demand before Pakistan to allow 5,000 pilgrims per day and 10,000 on special occasions. In the opening month, the footfall was 11,192, which increased to 23,383 in December last year. Daily average pilgrims in these months remained 508 and 754, respectively.
The Border Security Force (BSF) recovered 2 kg of heroin near the Mohar Sona border outpost in Fazilka district. According to source, on hearing a noise, the BSF troopers launched a search and recovered two plastic bottles buried in the fields across the barbed wire fencing. The bottles were filled with 2 kg of heroin worth Rs10 crore.
The Border Security Force (BSF) recovered 4 kg of heroin from New Gazniwala border outpost in Abohar in Fazilka district. The BSF troopers signalled the accused to stop and also opened fire, but the suspects managed to escape. During a search operation, four packets of heroin weighing 4 kg with a market value of Rs 20 crore were recovered.
United Kingdom 08-Mar-2020
British Pakistani and Kashmiri community held a protest outside Indian High Commission in London on March 8 afternoon. The protest was organized by Global Pakistan and Kashmir Supreme Council (UK) and the participants also raised slogans for freedom of Kashmir and Khalistan from Indian subjugation.
Parliamentarian Preneet Kaur paid obeisance at Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan along with more than hundred women on the occasion of International Women’s Day. Preneet Kaur said that Guru Nanak Sahib gave a great status to women in the society which resulted in their empowerment and high respect.
A Shiv Sena leader in Punjab, Mahant Kashmir Giri escaped unhurt after two unidentified motorcycle-borne men opened fire at him at his house in Khanna in Ludhiana district in the morning. Giri said that he was raising a voice against pro-Khalistan elements and was getting threat calls from international numbers. Recently, police had provided a gunman to Giri after he complained of receiving threats. However, the policeman deployed for his security was at the temple when shots were fired.
The Shahkot police arrested a person, identified as Pavneet Singh alias Jony along with 1 kg of opium in Jalandhar district. The accused told the police that he had brought the contraband from Jharkhand to further supply it in Shahkot.
The Mehatpur police arrested two persons, identified as Aashish and Vikas for allegedly selling intoxicant tablets and injections in Jalandhar district. According to Police, 80 intoxicant tablets, four injections and four vials were recovered from them.
The Nakodar police arrested a person, identified as Kamal Kumar, a resident of Meva village, for peddling drugs from Jalandhar district. Over 60 intoxicant tablets were recovered from him.
Another memorial, dedicated to those laying down their lives during dark days of terrorism, would soon come up in Punjab, said Khanna MLA Gurkirat Singh Kotli. “The people of Punjab would always remember the sacrifices made by the martyrs who laid down their lives during the dark decade of terrorism in the State,” said the MLA while unfurling a ‘Flag of Unity’ at Tolemajra village in SAS Nagar district. The ‘Flag of Unity’, was installed in the memory of Narpinder Pal Singh Prince who was martyred on March 11, 1992. The MLA further said that the State is witnessing peaceful atmosphere only because of the untold number of sacrifices made by the people from all sections of the society who opposed extremist tendencies tooth and nail.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a charge sheet against nine accused including a juvenile in September 4, 2019 Tarn Taran district blast case. The charge sheet was filed in the Special NIA Court in Mohali, against Massa Singh alias Mandeep Singh; Harjit Singh alias Harjit; Gurjant Singh; Manpreet Singhalias Maan; and Bikramjit Singh Panjwaralias Bikkar Baba (absconding); Chandeep Singh alias Gabbar Singh; Malkit Singh alias Shera; Amarjeet Singh alias Amar Singh; and one juvenile under Sections 120 B read with 153 A of IPC, Sections 13, 18, 18 A, 20 of the UAPA, and Sections 3, 4 and 5 of Explosive Substances Act. Two accused Vikram Singh alias Vicky and Harpreet Singh alias Happy had died in the explosion that took place in a vacant plot at the outskirts of Pandori Gola village in Tarn Taran. The accused were digging a pit to retrieve concealed explosives.
Police arrested a cross-border drug peddler, identified as Davinder Singh along with 10 kg of heroin from the outskirts of Kakkar village under Lopoke police station in Amritsar district. IG (Border Range) SPS Parmar said that the seizure was made from across the border fence following the interrogation of Davinder Singh. “Davinder and his accomplices had been in contact with Pakistan-based smugglers to receive the drug consignment from across the border fence,” said the IG.
Police arrested a person, identified as Jaspal for peddling drugs and recovered one kg of opium from him in Jalandhar district.
The Phillaur police arrested a drug peddler, identified as Sunny Sethi and recovered 250 intoxicating capsules from him in Jalandhar district.
Amid scare around the spread of the Coronavirus infections, India and Pakistan have decided to keep open Kartarpur Corridor that Indian pilgrims use to visit the revered Sikh shrine in Pakistan. However, Indian officials have indicated increased screening of people coming back through the corridor to prevent infections from spiking in India.
The Akal Takht acting Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh along with the officials of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) released the Nanakshahi calendar 2020-21 in Amritsar. This is an amended version of the original calendar that was introduced in 2003 and was later amended in 2010 and was christened as ‘Bikrami’ calendar. However, the SGPC did not acknowledge it as Bikrami calendar. The calendar has courted controversy among the Sikh community as the same events related to the Sikh Gurus were mentioned twice a year.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan held a high-level meeting of the National Security Committee and announced series of measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, including a ban on Pakistani nationals from travelling via the Kartarpur Corridor. Indian pilgrims will, however, be allowed to use the corridor.
The National Investigating Agency (NIA) and Organised Crime Control Unit (OCCU) of Punjab police in joint operation busted a terror module with the arrest of one suspect, identified as Surinder Singh alias Sikender in Mohali on the intervening night of March 13 and March 14. Sources said that the agencies recovered one AK-47, one sniper rifle, hand grenades, two pistols and few lakhs of fake currency from the possession of the accused, who is a suspect of being a part of the terror module in Punjab state. The agencies also believe that the accused might be involved in the target killings and recent attacks on RSS leaders in Punjab.
The Border Security Force (BSF) recovered a packet of heroin weighing 1 kg, one pistol (9 mm) and a magazine during a search operation near border out post Raja Mahattam in Ferozepur on March 14.
The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC) released its “original version” of Nanakshahi calendar, which was introduced in 2003, at Gurdwara Janam Asthan in Nankana Sahib in Pakistan. The PSGPC president Satwant Singh said that, “The original version of the calendar symbolises distinct identity of the Sikhs. We request Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh to ensure unity in the Panth, which is divided over the calendar issue. The calendar implemented in 2003 by the then Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti should be followed for this purpose.”
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) said that pilgrimage and registration for Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan will be suspended beginning March 15 midnight in view of the Coronavirus outbreak. The government has also suspended movement of all types of passengers through international border points with Pakistan from 00:00 hours of March 16 in view of the threat from coronavirus.
Police arrested a truck driver Gurnam Singh (50) and his assistant Jassa Singh (29) along with 20 kg of poppy husk and 3 kg of opium from the National Highway-52 in Abohar in Fazilka district. According to Police, poppy husk was hidden under the bags of vegetable and the preliminary investigation reportedly indicated that the duo had arranged the contraband from Neemach in Madhya Pradesh to further supply it in Sangrur.
Punjab Police has created a Special Operation Group (SOG) on the lines of the National Security Guards (NSG) to tackle any exigencies like 'fidayeen' attacks, hostage situations, armed infiltration attempts and break the militant-gangster nexus in Punjab jails. To strengthen the second line of defence, the police has also equipped its force with BP morchas, thermal imagers, BP tractors, body protectors, micro UAVs, etc. Punjab Police has also formed a separate 'Internal Security Wing' to specifically focus on anti-terrorism and anti-internal insurgency operations.
According to sources, as many as 23 Shiv Sena leaders in Ludhiana were provided 37 gunmen following the attack on Shiv Sena (Hindustan) president Amit Arora on February 22. Police had also started reviewing the security cover of the leaders following the attack on Honey Mahajan, the youth wing president of Shiv Sena (Hindustan)’s Punjab unit, in Gurdaspur on February 10. The Joint co-ordinator of the All India Congress Committee (Kisan Congress), Gursimram Singh Mand, has also got a security cover, after he complained of threats.
The Khalsa Day Parade in Surrey, British Columbia in Canada, organised by Gurdwara Dashmesh Darbar, was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Gurudwaras in Canada, Australia and at other countries have also decided not to hold big gatherings.
The Moga police froze assets of five drug peddlers of Badhni Kalan area in Moga district. The drug peddlers, identified as Pardeep Kumar, Sadhu Singh, Boora Singh, Dalip Singh, and Pritam Kaur, were convicted by the sessions’ court under various sections of the NDPS Act.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) special court in Mohali framed charges against three Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) operatives, identified as Ravinderpal Singh alias Ravi, Jagdev Singh alias Sonu (both belong to Punjab), and Harcharan Singh (Delhi), who were arrested for disturbing communal harmony in Punjab. However, the court discharged Nishan Singh alias Punia, as the NIA failed to file challan against him. The court will begin the trial in the case on April 9. The court had declared Kulwinderjit Singh alias Khanpuriya, who is now in Malaysia and mastermind in the case, as a proclaimed offender (PO) in February 2020. Ravinderpal and Jagdev were arrested in May 2019 for planning a terror strike in Punjab. Later, Punia and Harcharan were arrested from Amritsar district.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) failed to produce in court the death verification report of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) ‘chief’ Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD, who was allegedly killed in Pakistan in January. The NIA special court, which was hearing the 2016-17 targeted killings case, fixed March 24 as the next date of hearing. Harmeet Singh was one of the main conspirators in the targeted killings case which took place in Punjab between 2016 and 2017.
Police arrested two persons, identified as truck driver Bohad Singh (29) and his assistant Jagtar Singh (22) and recovered 160 kg of poppy husk from their possession outside Ratanpura village near Hanumangarh in Rupnagar district. During the search operation, 160 kg of poppy husk, packed in eight bags, was found hidden under the bags of red chilli inside their truck.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a charge sheet against nine members of Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) terrorist group for their alleged involvement in a case relating to dropping of arms and ammunition in Punjab by drones from Pakistan. According to NIA, all accused, including two senior citizens, were charged with relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Arms Act and Explosives Substances Act. The nine KZF members named in the charge sheet are Akashdeep Singh (21), Balwant Singh (48), Harbhajan Singh (65), Balbir Singh (70), Maan Singh (43), Gurdev Singh (40), Shubhdeep Singh (21), Sajanpreet Singh (22) and Romandeep Singh (20). The case relates to the information that Pakistan-based chief of KZF, Ranjeet Singh in connivance with Gurmeet Singh have smuggled arms, ammunition, explosives and fake Indian currency notes into India via drones from Pakistan, the NIA said. These consignments were received by their associates Akashdeep, Balwant, Harbhajan, Balbir and Shubhdeep in India in order to revive terrorism in Punjab and carry out a terror attack in the country, the NIA spokesperson said.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said that the State Government will not allow Pakistan-backed terrorists to foment trouble in Punjab. He said that he had been urging the Central Government to be tough on Pakistan. “This cannot go on,” he declared, adding that Punjab is not Kashmir, and was well equipped to fight back. The Army could continue fighting terror in Kashmir, but in Punjab, in addition to the Border Security Force (BSF) as the first line of defence at the borders, the 85,000 strong police force was well equipped to deal with any threat, he said, adding that the Army was also there for support as and when needed.
The Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab, Dinkar Gupta termed attempts to radicalize youth through social media as a major challenge, but asserted that the Punjab Police had done exemplary work in combatting the same, while remaining highly vigilant to stop cross-border terrorism. The DGP said during the terrorism phase of 1980 to 1993, target killings and militancy in Punjab was rampant. About 28000 people lost their lives but Punjab defeated the terror with strong political will, in cooperation with people of Punjab. “When I was SSP of Hoshiarpur in 1992, there was a big problem of urban insurgency, but then DGP KPS Gill, regarded as the tallest leader, thwarted the whole terrorism model in Punjab. At that time, leaders also infused energy in Punjab Police, motivating it to remain strong in the fight against terrorism,” he recalled. The DGP also said that Punjab’s long border with Pakistan would always be a challenge for us.
Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Captain Amarinder Singh said his government was committed to ensuring strict action against those responsible for Bargari and other sacrilege cases. Speaking at a conclave on the completion of his government's three years in office, the CM said that his focus had been on tackling drugs, gangsters and political killings.
Punjab Cooperation and Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said that Punjab would come up triumphant in the war against drugs too on the pattern of independence movement, Indo-Pak wars and war against terrorism and the state would again reclaim its glorious position and be a role model. While speaking on the occasion of a summit, he said that on assuming the office as Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh constituted a Special Task Force (STF) and initiated the various anti-drug campaigns which have started bearing fruit.
As the country observes the 20th anniversary of the Chittisinghpura massacre in which 35 members of the Sikh community were gunned down in the Chittisinghpura village of the Anantnag district of J&K on March 20, 2000, for the community the wounds have healed but the scars remain. On the eve of the visit of the then President of the United States, Bill Clinton to India, terrorists had killed 35 members of the Sikh community by making them stand in two different queues outside side their homes in the village. Though the identity of the terrorists who carried out the massacre has not been known so far, security agencies had pointed the fingers towards terrorists from the Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist outfit.
Police arrested a gangster, Varinder Pal Singh alias Veena, who was a key aide of the dreaded criminal Sukhpreet Singh Budha and recovered a .32 bore pistol along with a few live cartridges from him from Barnala on March 20. Police had also impounded the car in which he was travelling. Preliminary investigation revealed that the weapon recovered from him belonged to Budha, who had handed it over to one Navtej Singh of Ransinh Kalan village before leaving the country. Veena took the weapon from him. Budha was allegedly accused in at least 15 criminal cases of murders, extortions and other heinous crimes in many districts of the state and is also suspected to be in contact with pro-Khalistani elements. Budha was deported from Armenia on November 22, 2019, and arrested by the Punjab Police from the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, on the same day.
Police along with Narcotics Control Cell arrested one person, identified as Boota Singh and recovered 1 kg of heroin from him near Jodhpur village in Ferozepur district.
Police arrested three persons, Manpreet Singh, Bhupinder Singh and Bakshish Singh and recovered 2,300 intoxicating tablets from them in Lakho Ke Behram in Ferozepur district.
Police arrested one person, identified as Hoshiar Singh along with 20 gm of heroin from Lakho Ke Behram in Ferozepur district.
Police arrested two men, identified as Balwinder Singh and Palwinder Singh for allegedly peddling drugs, and recovered 20 gm of heroin from them in Shahkot in Jalandhar district.
Police arrested a migrant from Bihar, identified as Saroj Rai and recovered 400 gm of opium from him in Mullan Pur Dakha village in Ludhiana district.
Police arrested a person, Manjindar Singh along with 190 intoxicating tablets in Chacha colony in Jalandhar district.
The Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh called upon the Sikh community to follow the government's directions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The Jathedar also appealed to people to come forward and extent all kinds of help to needy persons while noting that coronavirus infection has posed a serious threat to the lives of people across the world. He directed all Sikh organisations and Gurudwara management committees to extend a helping hand in this hour of need, irrespective of any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed and race.
The Punjab government announced that a state wide lockdown will be enforced till March 31 as a measure to prevent the spread of the corona virus (covid19).
The Border Security Force (BSF) recovered 4.27 kg of heroin from an area close to the border outpost Bareke along the India-Pakistan border in Ferozepur district. According to officials, the consignment was stored in four plastic bottles and a China-made pistol was also seized along with the contraband.
The Border Security Force (BSF) troops recovered three packets of heroin weighting around 3.25 kg in the Abohar sector in Fazilka district.
A man, identified as Gurdev Singh was arrested along with 1.48-kg heroin from Behram Shersingh Wala village in Guruharsahai in Ferozepur district.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh ordered a state-wide curfew to combat against Covid-19 spread. The government has decided to further scale down its staff in government offices.
Police recovered 4.29 kg of heroin from the Indo-Pak border in Ferozepur district, revealed Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Harmanbir Singh Gill.
The Akal Takht appealed to the public not to get swayed by rumours and cooperate with the authorities by observing the shutdown religiously. Akal Takht’s Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh appealed to the Sikh community to recite prayers twice a day and do ‘ardas’ for ‘sarbat da bhala’.
At least 25 people were killed after terrorists attacked a Gurudwara in Kabul in Afghanistan on March 25 morning. According to media reports, four terrorists, including suicide bombers, attacked Gurudwara Har Rai Sahib in Kabul at around 7.45 am local time. There were around 120 people inside the Gurudwara, including 20 families, when the attack began. The Afghanistan Ministry of Interior stated that at least 25 people were killed and eight wounded in the attack. In total, 80 people including women and children were rescued, said the Ministry’s statement. According to SITE, which monitors jihadists networks, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh called the terror attack in a Gurudwara in Kabul "extremely tragic and unfortunate". He requested Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani to find out about the perpetrators and look after the people of India.
Akal Takht and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) condemned the terror attack on a Gurudwara in Kabul and urged the Central government to initiate steps for the security of Sikh families in Afghanistan.
The Border Security Force (BSF) recovered 5 kg heroin and an imported pistol from the Zero Line along the border in Ferozepur district.
Even though the terror group, as Islamic State claimed the responsibility for the attack in a Sikh Gurudwara in Kabul, Afghanistan, the Indian Intelligence sources pointed to a Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) link to the bloody episode which left the world shocked in the middle of a global war against coronavirus. Sources said that Pakistan’s militant organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Haqqani network is reported to have attacked the Gurudwara to scarce the minuscule Sikh community of Afghanistan. "It is believed that the militants were based in Khurram and Hangu districts of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan," sources said.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) condemned the terrorist attack on the Sikh Gurudwara in Kabul that killed 25 people. The UNSC in a statement, it "condemned in the strongest terms the heinous and cowardly terrorist attack" that took place in Shor Bazar area in Kabul. "The members of the security council underlined the need to hold perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable and bring them to justice, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant security council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the government of Afghanistan and all other relevant authorities," the statement said.
A day after the terror attack on Gurudwara in Kabul, the Sikh Diaspora has come forward to extend a helping hand to the anguished Sikh families mourning the deaths of their loved ones to help them rebuild their lives. The United Kingdom (UK)-based chairman of Seva Trust, Charan Kanwal Singh Sekhon, said that a fund-raiser campaign has been started in UK to raise £30,000 to help the families of the victims.
Mortal remains of 25 Sikhs, including elderly persons, young children and women, were consigned to flames in a crematorium in Kabul, Afghanistan even as another bomb explosion rocked the cremation site. But no causality was reported in the bomb blast which occurred just as the grieving Sikh families were going home after the cremation.
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) asked for donations to continue providing food to people affected by the nationwide lockdown put in place to contain the COVID-19 spread. The DSGMC has been providing free food to around 50,000 people mostly migrant workers and daily wagers in the national capital daily amid the lockdown.
Members of the minority Sikh community from Kabul and Jalalabad in Afghanistan held meetings to deliberate on their future prospects in the war-ravaged country after the terror attack on Gurudwara Har Rai Sahib in Kabul, which left 25 Sikhs dead. Separate lists of Sikh families who have complete travel documents and those who require passport and other documents were prepared in Kabul and Jalalabad gurdwaras to begin the process of mass migration to an as yet unknown destination.
The Sikh bodies demanded the release of what they describe as ‘political prisoners’ amid the threat of coronavirus (Covid-19) looming over Punjab and its prisons. According to them, many of these prisoners had already completed their sentences, while a few of them were already on parole.
Pakistani pro-Khalistan leader Gopal Singh Chawla said that land in Nankana Sahib belonging to Guru Nanak Dev was being grabbed by the rich by paying money and there was collusion by Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) of Pakistan. Chawla in a video said that atrocities were being committed and complaints about the misuse of land, registered in the name Guru Nanak Dev in Pakistan's Punjab province, have fallen on deaf ears of authorities. He said that ETPB of Pakistan has been aiding and shielding rich people who have encroached the land of Gurudwara Nankana Sahib. Chawla alleged that ETPB chairman Aamer Ahmed has been colluding with the land grabbers. "I had made a humble request that in Nankana Sahib there is full loot (of land) and I had given proof to Aamer sahib that a lot of atrocities are taking place. Rich people who can give Rs 2 lakh, Rs 3 lakh, Rs 4 lakh, Rs 5 lakh, they are getting their houses made and the poor who have to build on two marla, three marla, there is no law for them," he said.
The mortal remains of three Afghan Sikhs, who were among the 25 Sikhs killed in the terrorist attack on Gurudwara in Kabul on March 25, were brought back to India. Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, DSGMC president Manjinder Singh Sirsa and the former DSGMC president Manjit Singh GK received their mortal remains.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa criticized Pakistan after pro-Khalistan leader Gopal Singh Chawla said that land in Nankana Sahib belonging to Guru Nanak Dev was being grabbed by the rich by paying money and there was collusion by Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) of Pakistan. He said on the Twitter that minorities are suffering a lot in Pakistan and PM Imran Khan must take swift action to regain the trust of Sikhs. "We stand committed to protect Gurdwara Sahibs & properties of Gurdwara Committees of Pakistan", the SAD leader said. He also added that the issue would be raised at a global level if government of Pakistan fails to address the concerns.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal said that keeping in view the ongoing lockdown and curfew in the state due to the corona virus outbreak, it would not be advisable for devotees to assemble at Takht Damdama Sahib in Talwandi Sabo to celebrate Baisakhi. He said that he would request Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh to ponder to on the issue, take a decision and make an appeal to the community.
The Special Task Force (STF) arrested a couple, identified as Gagandeep Singh and his wife Sonia along with 260 gm heroin from near Kakuwala on Sangrur-Patran road in Sangrur district. The couple was arrested while they were travelling on a motorcycle to New Delhi to allegedly smuggle the heroin worth Rs 1.30 crores in the market.
Two Ludhiana-based Sikhs, Shankar Singh of Chhawni Mohalla and Jiwan Singh of Nanak Nagar, who were among the 25 persons killed in the deadly Gurudwara attack in Kabul, were cremated in Daresi in Ludhiana district. The kin of both deceased said the two were permanent residents of Afghanistan and they had learnt the native language.
Police arrested three drug peddlers, identified as Gurwinder Singh, Satwinder Singh and Kamaljeet Singh along with 25-gram heroin and 740 narcotic pills in Moga district.
A mob of Islamist radicals attacked the Sikh Gurudwara in Nankana Sahib (in Punjab, Pakistan) to avenge the arrest of a Muslim man who had kidnapped and converted a Sikh girl to Islam. The crowd gathered in front of the main entrance of the Nankana Sahib Gurudwara and pelted stones at the Gurudwara in the evening. The extremists also threatened to eliminate every single Sikh faithful from the city and announced that they have renamed the location with an Islamic name.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) registered an FIR in a case relating to terror attack on a Gurudwara at Kabul, Afghanistan in which 27 devotees were killed and several others injured. The NIA said it has registered the case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and under the provisions of Section 6 (8) of the NIA Act and started an investigation into the recent attack. This is the first case of its kind which NIA has registered as the recent amendments in the NIA Act, which empowered the agency to investigate terror cases that are committed at any place outside India against the Indian citizens or affecting the interest of India.
Former Hazoori Ragi (permanent gurbani singer) of the Golden Temple, Giani Nirmal Singh, who tested positive for the coronavirus, died in Amritsar. The Padma Shri recipient returned from abroad recently and was admitted to the Guru Nanak Dev Hospital after he complained of breathlessness and dizziness on March 30.
The Khalistani militant, Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar was released from Amritsar Central Jail for six weeks on parole. Bhullar, who has been serving a life sentence for his role in the 1993 Delhi blast that killed nine people and wounded several others, was among 529 prisoners who have been released from jail in an attempt to decongest Indian prisons in view on the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) said that Afghan forces have arrested the leader of the country’s Islamic State (ISIS) group affiliate and the mastermind behind the attack on the Gurudwara that killed 25 Sikh devotees. The NDS said in a statement that Aslam Farooqi, also known as Abdullah Orakzai, had been arrested along with 19 other men in a ‘complex operation’. An NDS official said that Farooqi was the mastermind behind an IS-claimed attack on a Sikh temple in Kabul last month that killed at least 25 people. Known as Islamic State in the Khorasan (IS-K), the Afghan IS branch has been on its back foot in recent months following continued operations by US forces and separately by the Taliban.
The acting Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh directed the Sikh community to hold symbolic celebrations for Vaisakhi this year, amid ongoing coronavirus outbreak in Punjab. He has directed the Sikh masses to stay indoors and listen Gurbani Kirtan on TV while offering prayers at their homes.
The Jathedar of the Takht Patna Sahib, Giani Ranjit Singh urged the Prime Minister Narender Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to quash the FIR (First Information Report) registered by the Delhi Government against Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) for providing shelter and food to stranded passengers who had sought refuge in Gurdwara Manju Ka till due to lockdown. He highlighted the social and charitable works being undertaken by various Sikhs institutions worldwide and told that at present 100 gurdwaras are providing langar to standard people in Punjab due to lockdown.
Pakistani authorities cancelled the Baisakhi celebrations at Gurudwara Panja Sahib in Punjab province from April 14, in which around 3,000 Sikhs from India were to participate, due to the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa criticized Pakistan PM Imran Khan over pro-Khalistan leader Gopal Singh Chawla's allegation that land in Nankana Sahib belonging to Guru Nanak Dev was being grabbed by the rich by paying money and there was a collusion with the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) of Pakistan. "Lands belonging to Gurdwara Sahibs are sold to Rich & Mighty of Pak as part of a well-planned strategy to take over worship places of minority Sikhs Gopal Chalwa has exposed atrocities & misuse of land by ETPB Officials; would PM @ImranKhanPTI take some action? @thetribunechd," Sirsa tweeted.
Sikh community in Pakistan has shut down Gurdwaras in Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province after the provincial government banned gathering of more than five people for worship in religious places to stop the spread of the coronavirus which has infected nearly 4,000 people and killed 55 in the country.
Pakistan’s Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) deputy secretary shrines, Imran Gondal said that a meeting of the ETPB and the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbadhank Committee (PSGPC) unanimously decided that there would be no Baisakhi celebrations at the shrine in Hassanabdal city this year and the scheduled visits of Sikh pilgrims has been cancelled. The Baisakhi celebrations scheduled to begin on April 14 at Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Punjab province, in which 3,000 Sikhs from India and 2,000 from elsewhere were to participate.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) demanded quashing of an FIR against the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) for allegedly providing shelter and food to stranded devotees, who had sought refuge in Gurdwara Majnu Ka Tilla in the wake of Covid-induced lockdown. Terming it as an anti-Sikh move, the SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal said that overlooking the social and charitable works being undertaken by various Sikh institutions, the FIR against the DSGMC by the Kejriwal government testified its narrow approach.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) demanded quashing of an FIR against the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) for allegedly providing shelter and food to stranded devotees, who had sought refuge in Gurdwara Majnu Ka Tilla in the wake of Covid-induced lockdown. Terming it as an anti-Sikh move, the SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal said that overlooking the social and charitable works being undertaken by various Sikh institutions, the FIR against the DSGMC by the Kejriwal government testified its narrow approach.
Lawyers of Punjab and Haryana High Court are receiving recorded calls from the New York-based pro-Khalistani group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), which was banned by India last year, seeking their opinion about its so-called movement to "free" Punjab from India. According to reports, the recorded calls instigate listeners against the central government and the Punjab administration using the novel coronavirus pandemic as an excuse. Referring to the tough action taken by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi against those violating lockdown norms, the pro-Khalistan group has also accused them of ‘torturing’ youngsters. SFJ also claimed that it is paying Rs 2,000 to Punjab's Covid-19 victims. However, it could not be substantiated. Sources in the intelligence agencies confirmed that similar calls are being made on behalf of SFJ for the past one week in other parts of Punjab. These calls are made from only one US-based number +18336101020. The lawyers' numbers seem to have been taken from the e-directory or may have been provided by somebody. "Votaan raahi Punjab nu Bharat de kabje ton Azaad karvana chahnde haan, par Captain te Modi di sarkar corona kahar de hondeyan bhi Punjab de naujawana te tasdaat kar rahi hai. Sikhs For Justice corona kahar de peeditaan nu Rs 2,000 de rahi hai te Captain di sarkar ik bar pher bharma rahi hai sirf vadeyaan naal. (We want to free Punjab from the occupation of India through votes. Captain and Modi governments are using force against the youth of Punjab despite the current crisis due to coronavirus. SFJ is paying Rs 2,000 to the victims of Covid-19 but Captain's government is still misleading with mere promises)," goes the recorded call. The recording also includes a simple poll. "Asi tuhade tonh ek sawaal puchhna chahnde haan, je tussi SFJ di nitiyaan naal sahmat ho to ek dabao, je Modi or Captain di nityaan to sahmat ho taan do dabao. (We want to ask one question, if you endorse the ideology of SFJ, then press one and if you support Modi or Captain, then press two)." The recording is apparently in voice of its legal adviser Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, but it could not be confirmed.
The Sarbat Khalsa appointed Akal Takht Jathedar Jagtar Singh Hawara directed the Sikh community to recite Chaupai Sahib and pray for the high morale of Sikh community on the eve of the Vaisakhi this year. He also directed the Sikhs to hoist Kesri flags on the top of their houses and seek a safe exit of humanity from this covid19 pandemic.
The Pakistan government asked Afghanistan to hand over the recently arrested Islamic State terrorist, responsible for the deadly terror attack on Sikh Gurudwara in Kabul to Pakistan. According to the sources, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the ambassador of Afghanistan to Pakistan, asking for Aslam Farooqi's custody. Afghan security forces on April 5 had arrested Farooqi involved in the massacre of around 27 Sikhs in a terror attack on a Gurudwara in Kabul on March 25. As per an official statement, Islamabad sought Farooqi's custody for investigation because he is allegedly involved in anti-Pakistan activities in Afghanistan.
When the State authorities are busy with all the efforts to check the spread of the corona virus outbreak, the US-based pro-Khalistan outfit, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) is pushing its secessionist agenda by promising Rs 2000 each for coronavirus positive persons in the state and asking people if they support SFJ or the governments led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. For the past many days, residents of Punjab, including lawyers, the top police officers, media and others, were getting recorded interactive voice response (IVR) messages of SFJ ‘legal advisor’ Gurpatwant Singh Pannun from phone numbers having US ISD code. These call messages, which promise Rs 2000 aid to patients, also ask the receiver to ‘press 1’ if they agree with the policies of SFJ or ‘press 2’ if they agree with the policy of Centre government led by PM Modi and Punjab government. The chief of Punjab Police Intelligence Wing, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Varinder Kumar, said that police were seized of the matter and had discussed the issue with Centre also. He said the police had earlier got blocked one of the numbers, but Pannun started using another number to send the recorded voice messages. Police believe that recorded messages are being routed through some Call Center.
Punjab Police registered two cases against pro-Khalistani leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and his banned Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) for seditious automated calls aimed at instigating the people, particularly youth, against the state government during the Covid19 lockdown. The Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said that the cases have been registered against Pannun and the US-based SFJ under Section 124A of the IPC, and Sections 10 (a) and 13 (1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, at the State Special Operations Cell, Mohali. According to Mohali police, preliminary probe revealed that Pannun was involved in the commission of seditious acts of advocating secession of Punjab through automated calls as well as pre-recorded audio messages to various residents of Punjab and nearby areas in March and April 2020, with the intention to foment trouble in the state.
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) arrested two Indo-Canadian men, identified as Sukdeep Singh (31) and Inderjeet Singh (26) and seized around 38kg of suspected cocaine from a commercial vehicle from Ontario in Canada. The estimated the value of the contraband is over 4.8 million CAD, approximately Rs 26.2 crore.
Sikh leader and Congress MP (Member of Parliament) Pratap Singh Bajwa urged the India government to prevent Pakistani interference in the investigation of the Kabul Gurudwara terror attack in which 25 Sikhs were killed by the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) recently. Bajwa in a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar pointed out that the Imran Khan government on April 9 had asked Afghanistan to hand over the recently arrested ISKP terrorist involved to Pakistan. The Afghan security forces had arrested Farooqi on April 5 for the March 25 terror attack. “Pakistan’'s demand for Farooqi’s custody is an attempt by Pakistan to hide information regarding their involvement in the terror attack," Bajwa said. Though the Afghanistan government on April 10 declined Pakistan’s request, Bajwa pleaded with the central government to ensure that all steps were taken to prevent Pakistan's interference in the case.
Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh appealed to the people of the state not to step out of their homes on Baisakhi, which will be celebrated on April 13, and follow the ongoing lockdown imposed to combat the coronavirus outbreak. He also asked them to pray from their homes at 11 am on April 13 for the state’s victory over the deadly COVID-19 ‘enemy’ and the safety of children.
Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh said that “The only good thing that has come out of COVID is that the drug supply line has broken. So, we are happy.” He has been at the forefront in the battle against drug addiction since he became chief minister in March 2017. “I have been informed that the supply line of the drugs has been broken. So, heroin and all these things which were being smuggled are no longer happening,” the CM said. Recently, the Centre had identified 272 districts across the country as hugely affected by the drug menace and was planning to implement an ‘addiction-free India’ initiative to address the issue. According to the Narcotics Control Bureau, 18 out of Punjab’s 22 districts were in the grip of drug menace.
Pakistan extended the duration of the closure of the Wagah border and the Kartarpur Corridor along the International Border with India for two weeks amid the Coronavirus pandemic. The Kartarpur Corridor will be sealed till April 24 while the Wagah crossing will be closed from April 16 to April 29.
United Kingdom 13-Apr-2020
Vaisakhi will not be marked with the customary large gatherings and melas in different parts of the UK this year as the community is urged to stay safe amid the coronavirus pandemic, with all events cancelled. Meanwhile, Prince Charles issued a video message to convey his “lakh lakh vaidhaiyan” to the Sikh community in the UK and across the Commonwealth on the occasion of Vaisakhi and praised the “selfless service” of the British-Sikh community in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the latest data, smuggling of drugs across the Bangladesh and Pakistan borders is continuing unabated, albeit in much lesser numbers even in the time of nationwide lockdown which was implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19. According to the seizure and apprehension data (between January 1- March 24 and from March 25-April 12), the two borders, guarded by the Border Security Force (BSF), saw a number of such instances prompting the force to tighten vigil. Along the Punjab border, notorious for cross-border heroin smuggling from Pakistan, drug seizures came down from 97 kgs to about 18 kgs between the two comparable periods.
The acting Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Harpreet Singh criticized the attempts by certain sections of the society to blame Muslims for the spread of Covid19 virus in India and to put the entire Sikh community in the dock for the attack on a policeman at Patiala. He said that religious discrimination is a shame on humanity.
The Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Harpreet Singh Sidhu, who heads the anti-narcotics Special Task Force (STF), said that nationwide lockdown has dealt a major blow to drug smuggling in Punjab and more than 26,000 people have registered at de-addiction centres since curfew was imposed in the state to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. He said that the surge in registrations at out-patient opioid assisted treatment (OOAT) centres across Punjab was because the supply chain of drug trafficking rings has been disrupted by the strict lockdown. A total of 309 cases were registered by Punjab Police under the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and a large quantity of drugs have been seized, including 22 kg of heroin and more than 527 kg of poppy husk, since March 23, when the curfew was imposed. A total of 498 people have also been arrested in connection with drug smuggling during the lockdown
The Border Security Force (BSF) recovered nine packets of contraband suspected to be heroin of 8.7 kg from Amritsar Sector in Punjab.
Mohali Police arrested Punjabi singer Gurinder Singh, popularly known as Vadda Grewal for possessing 30 gm of opium from a private hospital in Sohana in SAS Nagar district. The Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Ramandeep said that “The singer was undergoing treatment following drug overdose. We recovered 30-gm opium from his possession and registered a case in this regard.”
The Kapurthala district Police, in its concerted drive against drug smugglers in Kapurthala district, attached property worth Rs 2,95,61,625 of six drug peddlers with immediate effect. The decision was taken as per guidelines issued by office of competent authority, Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act - SAFEM (FOP) Act, and Section 68F (2) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act - NDPS Act, 1985.
According to a news report of Global News (Canada), “Indian intelligence agencies attempted to use money and disinformation to ‘covertly influence’ Canadian politicians, according to a highly sensitive government document”. The report said, “Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Indian Intelligence were allegedly behind the operation, which began in 2009”.
The President of the World Sikh Organization (WSO) of Canada, Tejinder Singh Sidhu said that WSO is deeply disturbed by a report published by Global News revealing that Indian intelligence agencies attempted to use money and disinformation to ‘covertly influence’ Canadian politicians. He accused that “Indian intelligence agencies have a long history of using media and planted stories to negatively portray Sikhs in Canada. Sikhs have long suffered from the consequences of this foreign interference”. “The WSO has regularly raised the issue of Indian espionage and interference in Canada with the federal government. We call on the federal government to take immediate steps to clamp down on Indian espionage here in Canada and to ensure that the Canadians can live free from the machinations of foreign governments,” he added.
Domes of the newly renovated Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara was collapsed due to a thunderstorm and high-speed winds in the area of the holy site's location in Punjab in Pakistan. According to reports, the domes were allegedly not even constructed with cement and iron but with plaster-of-paris material. After the embarrassing incident, the Sikh community has expressed disappointment with the way construction was done in Pakistan
Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said that during the curfew period, more than 26,000 drug addicts have been registered under the de-addiction programme in the state. He said that a special campaign is being launched to register new patients under the programme on the directives of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. According to the data available with the state health department, 4.14 lakh addicts were registered with it. These included 1.55 lakh at Out Patient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) centres, 2.15 lakh in de-addiction centres and more than 30,000 in rehabilitation centres before the lockdown. Now the figure is 4.40 lakh, an increase of 26,000 patients in OOAT centres, the data reveals. The highest increase is in Ludhiana 2,600, followed by Moga 2,200, Mohali 1,800, Patiala 1,600 and Sangrur 1,300.
India has questioned Pakistan on the ‘deficiencies’ in building Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan, as five domes of the structure collapsed on April 18 owing to strong winds. Though Pakistan government claims that the domes were restored by a team of experts throughout April 18 night, Indian government sources doubted the quick restoration work, saying they hoped the repair work would be long-lasting.
The India-Canada relations have been at an ebb recently due to the increasing influence of Pakistan in Canada, say report. The New Delhi-Ottawa bilateral relationship has soured so much that recently, in a trivial case, the country's top intelligence agency Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) unsuccessfully attempted to get an Indian national's application for citizenship rejected by accusing him of ‘covertly influencing’ Canadian politicians against Khalistanis. Though the Canadian court dismissed the accusations against the Indian national, who is an editor of a newspaper in New Delhi, the CSIS ensured that the allegation became the news in the Canadian press. According to sources, all this began when Canadians of Khalistani-background and Pakistani- descent began to assume significant positions in the Liberal Party of Canada and especially, the Trudeau government. The Defence Minister of Canada, Harjit Singh Sajjan and the Science and Technology Minister in the Trudeau government, have been publicly called Khalistani sympathizers by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. Even the Canadian opposition, New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jagmeet Singh is an open supporter of Khalistanis.
The Special Task Force (STF) against drugs arrested two persons, identified as Kulwinder Singh and Sarbjit Singh along with 800 gm heroin worth crores from Lakhewal village in Sangrur district. According to sources, another accomplice of the accused fled while the STF has been conducting further investigations.
Malerkotla Police arrested one person, identified as Mohd Rustam and confiscated 210 kg of poppy husk and Rs 39,500 drug money from him at the Adampal road. In Sangrur district.
The acting Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Harpreet Singh endorsed the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC)’s stand that the damage to five domes at the newly built congregation hall at Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara after a recent thunderstorm was not an issue. He said, “This is not a big thing. The PSGPC has already issued a statement that the domes have been repaired and affixed at their places. So, this is not an issue at all.”
The Border security Force (BSF) recovered nine packets of contraband suspected to be heroin of 4.5 kgs from Amritsar sector in Amritsar district.
The Border Security Force (BSF) recovered one packet of heroin weighing one kg from near the border in Amritsar sector in Punjab. According to sources, along with the contraband, BSF also recovered arms, including one country made .30 bore pistol, two magazines and 24 live rounds (.30 bore) from the same spot. However, no arrest has been made in this connection.
Former Khalistani militant, Daljit Singh Dulewal made allegations against Dal Khalsa’s patron Daljit Singh Bittu of procuring property with the money looted from banks during militancy era in Punjab. He alleged that Daljit Singh Bittu purchased agriculture land near Ropar by using some amount from the INR 57 million looted from a bank in Ludhiana in February, 1987. Daljit Singh Dulewal also accused Daljit Singh Bittu of intentionally fulfilling government’s aspirations by boycotting 1992’s assembly elections. “The militant leaders used to consider Daljit Singh Bittu as their policy maker, but he betrayed Sikhs,” he said in an interview. He added that Daljit Singh Bittu told them that he was going to Afghanistan for procuring weapons, but actually he moved to his farm in Ropar.
Punjab’s Leader of Opposition, Harpal Singh Cheema in a statement expressed his deep concern over the way drug mafia was active in Punjab and its neighbouring states even during the curfew clampdown, leading to loss of precious young lives. He said that during the last three days, one youth was shot dead allegedly by drug peddlers and two youths succumbed to drug overdose in the state, which, he said, was a matter of concern. He said the cases were those reported in the through the media, adding that there were many unreported cases.
The Tarn Taran district, which is among the worst drug-hit districts of Punjab, is doing its best to “break the backbone” of the drug smugglers in the district even during the lockdown period. The district police have frozen the assets of 16 drug smugglers, worth Rs 8.6 crore, in the last one month. Besides, the police have prepared eight new cases for freezing property worth Rs 16 crore belonging to various drug smugglers, including those from Havelian village, which is situated at a stone’s throw distance from India Pakistan border.
United Kingdom 26-Apr-2020
The Sikh Federation UK (SFUK) threatened the Scottish government with legal action claiming discrimination for failing to include a tick-box response option for Sikhs in the ethnicity section of its proposed census. The federation claims that this contravenes the European Convention of Human Rights, EU law and the Equality Act 2010.
United States 26-Apr-2020
Pro-Khalistan association, the World Sikh Parliament has recently recognized April 29th as “Sikh Declaration of Independence Day”. It’s General Secretaries Manpreet Singh and Hardyal Singh issued the proclamation which contextualizes the historical significance of the declaration of independence made by the Sikh leadership on April 29,1986. The Proclamation also reaffirms the World Sikh Parliament’s commitment to the aspiration of sovereign statehood of the Sikh homeland, and for its delivery in accordance with the Sikh nation’s right to self-determination under international law.
Punjab Police arrested a Hizbul Mujahideen militant, Hilal Ahmed Wagay and recovered Indian currency worth Rs 29 lakh from him at Amritsar.
The Border Security Force (BSF) shot dead a suspected Pakistani intruder while he was trying to cross the International Border (IB) along Amritsar sector in Amritsar.
Police arrested three persons, identified as Gurvinder Singh, Gurpiyar Singh and Akashdeep Singh and recovered two country made pistols, cartridges and a knife from their possession in Ludhiana in Punjab.
Two policemen, identified as assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Manjeet Singh and constable Gagandeep Singh were dismissed from service after the recovery of drugs and liquor from them. The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Mandeep Singh Sidhu said that 15 kg of poppy husk, 250 gm smack and 5 gm heroin and 30 bottles of country-made liquor were recovered from the ASI’s house. The accused had reportedly been letting off peddlers after taking money and drugs from them.
Police arrested a woman along with 11gm heroin in Bagrian village in Sangrur district on April 27. After arrest, the woman was taken to Ludhiana jail on April 28 where she was found positive for Covid-19 on April 30.
Police arrested three inter-state drug suppliers, identified as Harjot Singh Jot, Jatinder Singh and Balkar Singh and recovered 18 kg opium from their possession at Takhran village near Samrala in Ludhiana district.
United States 29-Apr-2020
Pro-Khalistan association, the World Sikh Parliament (WSP) observed ‘Khalistan Declaration Day’ hoisting Sikh flag along with the American flag in the city hall of Holyoke. Coordinator of WSP, Himmat Singh stated that, “The World Sikh Parliament team congratulates the global Sikh community on this 29th April which is the Khalistan Declaration Day.” “It is an honor for all the Sikhs living in America. The Sikh flag today waves along with the American flag. The World Sikh Parliament is able to get this opportunity because America symbolizes the belief to ‘Religious Freedom’ while respecting all religions. It’s a shame that India that claims to be the largest democracy but oppresses their minorities.”
The Supreme Court sought Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)’s response on a plea of former Congress councilor Balwan Khokhar, serving life term in a 1984 anti-Sikh riot case, seeking grant of either interim bail or parole for eight weeks in view of Covid-19 pandemic. Khokhar along with former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar are serving life imprisonment in Tihar jail in the case after the Delhi High Court convicted them on December 17, 2018.
United States 30-Apr-2020
Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna has urged the Trump Administration to give refugee status to the minority Sikh and Hindu families in Afghanistan who are increasingly facing persecution by terror outfits in the Asian country. Khanna, in a letter to the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F Wolf, expressed concerns about the health and safety of religious minorities in the war-ravaged nation where an approximately 200 Hindu and Sikh families left.
The Akal Takht demanded a high-level probe as over 150 Takht Sri Hazur Sahib pilgrims were found infected by Covid-19 on their return to Punjab. Officiating Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh said, “Each of the pilgrims at Hazur Sahib underwent medical tests thrice and none was found to be infected. How could so many of them on their return contract the infection? I suspect that like the Tablighi Jamaat (Muslim sect), the Sikhs too are being defamed under a conspiracy. A probe should be held as I doubt the authenticity of ‘tests’ being conducted in Punjab.”
The Border Security Force (BSF) recovered 6.7 kg heroin which was kept hidden in a field across the barbed fence at the India-Pakistan border in Amritsar. Police earlier, arrested one person, Karam Singh alias Golu who was roped in to clear the consignment, at his residence. The heroin was kept hidden in a tractor’s drawbar.
The Punjab Police’s Special Task Force (STF) recovered 2 kg heroin from the possession of two drug smugglers at Chak Misri Khan village in Amritsar district. The accused were arrested in the night after an encounter in which one of the accused received a bullet injury.
The Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) slammed the Punjab government for vilifying the Sikh pilgrims returned from Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib by holding them responsible for the rise in coronavirus cases in Punjab. DSGMC president Manjinder Singh Sirsa said that the Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh needs to tighten the reins of his cabinet ministers who are openly vilifying the Sikh pilgrims. He has said that it seems like a big conspiracy is working behind vilification of Sikh pilgrims because their sudden positive testing in Punjab is fishy in itself.
Police arrested four persons for allegedly committing sacrilege of Gurbani Pothis (scriptures) and Gutkas (Gurbani Handy Book) in Mohalla Guru Nanak Pura locality in Amritsar. The desecrated Gurbani scriptures were found in the garbage collected by a municipal corporation vehicle.
The Special Task Force (STF) of Ludhiana police arrested two persons, Amit Sharma and his relative, Rajan Kumar along with 1.6kg heroin, 150gm smack and drug money of Rs 17.5 lakh in Chuharpur Road in Ludhiana district. According to police, Amit’s wife, who is also involved in drug peddling, is at large.
The notorious gangster Jaggu Bhagwanpuria tested positive for Covid-19 in Batala in Gurdaspur district, where he was in police custody in connection with high-profile murder case of the Dhilwan Akali sarpanch.
The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) in Pakistan is now in action to expel the pro-Khalistan leader Gopal Singh Chawla from the ‘Punjabi Sikh Sangat’. Earlier, he was also expelled from the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC). Notably, the ETPB had constituted ‘Punjabi Sikh Sangat’ to look after the religious activities in the Sikh shrines of Pakistan and Gopal Singh Chawla was appointed as a chairman of this body. According to report, the ETPB has started cornering Gopal Singh Chawla after he illegally occupied a piece of land managed by ETPB. An FIR was registered against Gopal Singh Chawla under sections 447/511 in Nankana Sahib police station on the complaint of revenue officer Asif Chadar. Sources also revealed that Gopal Singh Chawla might resign from the chairmanship of ‘Punjabi Sikh Sangat’ on May 7. It has also come to fore that the ETPB has not even credited Gopal Singh Chawla’s monthly salary worth Rupees 30,000.
The Pak-based pro-Khalistan leader Gopal Singh Chawla accused that the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) officials are going to remove him from the chairmanship of “Punjabi Sikh Sangat” under a conspiracy.
Police arrested a couple along with 20 gm of heroin and drug money of Rs Five lakh from Phillaur in Jalandhar district.
The Punjab police registered a case against its former Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini along with eight other accused for kidnapping of Balwant Singh Multani, son of then IAS officer, in 1991. The Mataur police station in Mohali on May 6 registered an FIR against Saini who was then Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Chandigarh and other eight accused in the case. The case has been registered under Sections 364 (kidnapping or abduction in order to murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), 344 (wrongful confinement), 330 (voluntarily causing hurt to exhort confession), 219 (public servant in judicial proceeding corruptly making report contrary to law), and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. The Chandigarh police had picked up Balwant after an attack on then SSP Saini in Chandigarh in which four cops in his security detail had died. The Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) terrorist Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar was the mastermind of the RDX attack to blow up SSP Saini’s car on August 29, 1991.
Punjab police arrested two accomplices of slain Hizbul Muzahideen (HM) commander Riyaz Ahmed Naikoo’s close associate, Hilal Ahmed Wagay from Amritsar. The arrested persons were identified as Bikram Singh and Maninder Singh, both from Amritsar. Police seized 1 kg heroin along with Rs 32 lakh in Indian currency from their possession, unveiling the Pakistan-sponsored conspiracy to smuggle narcotics and weapons into the state, the DGP Dinkar Gupta said. The interrogation of the two accused further revealed that both Bikram and Maninder, along with their cousins Ranjit Singh, Iqbal Singh and Sarwan Singh, dealt in drugs and weapons smuggled from across the border.
United Kingdom 06-May-2020
Despite a long-running campaign by some sections of the Sikh community, the House of Commons approved the draft census order for England and Wales on May 6 night without an ethnic Sikh tick-box in the ethnicity section. In response to the question asking their ethnic group, the British Sikh will have the option of ticking Asian/Asian British and then whether Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese, or any other Asian background (stating which), or they can write in Sikh.
The Special Task Forces (STFs) of Ludhiana and Jalandhar police arrested a dera head and his three followers after recovering 290 gm heroin from their possession in Jagraon in Ludhiana district. STF officials said that a homeguard jawan, who was deployed in Ludhiana, used to supply drugs to the self-styled godman and the dera head of Rishi Ashram Nirmal Kutiya in Jagraon, identified as Bhagwan Singh Baba and his followers, Shani, Gaurav Kumar and Dharminder Singh.
The Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh stated that “Sins of notorious cop SS Saini have come to haunt him after a long period. He has been booked in the abduction and subsequent murder case of Balwant Singh Multani. Multani was a friend of Prof Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar. Not only Multani, Saini killed Prof Bhullar’s father and uncle too after abducting and torturing them”. While welcoming the booking of Saini by the Punjab government, the Dal Khalsa said that people of Punjab wish to see former DGP Sumedh Singh Saini behind bars.
Punjab police arrested seven persons including the most wanted gangster Baljinder Singh alias Billa, who allegedly had links with slain Pakistan-based Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) chief Harmeet Singh Happy and Germany-based Bagga of the Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) from Kapurthala area in Kapurthala district. Billa, who was wanted in more than 18 cases including that of murder, arms smuggling and drug peddling. Besides Billa, the six arrested are Sukhjinder Singh, Mohit Sharma, Lovepreet Singh, Mangal Singh, Maninderjeet Singh and Lovepreet Singh alias Lovely. Police also recovered consignment of weapons included two 30 bore drum machine guns, three pistols (marked SIG Sauer made in Germany), two Glock pistols (made in Austria), two 30 bore pistols, one 32 bore pistol, one .315 bore rifle, 341 live cartridges and two drum magazines and 14 pistol magazines from their possession. Rs 3 lakh in cash and one hundred Australian dollars were also recovered from them. The Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said that “one of the biggest caches of highly sophisticated weapons seized from a criminal gang”. He said the SIG Sauer pistols are in fact being used by members of the US Secret Service, which protects the highest elected leaders of the United States, especially the President of the United States. The DGP also said preliminary investigations suggested that most of the weapons recovered from Billa were smuggled from Pakistan in different consignments. Police were also investigating the role of militants in the supply chain of illegal weapons. Billa during preliminary investigations revealed that he was in contact with various Pakistan-based weapons and drugs smugglers and had already received many consignments of weapons and drugs from them, mostly in the Ferozepur area.
The former Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini who was booked in connection with a 29-year-old abduction case, moved a trial court seeking an anticipatory bail. A court in Mohali has issued a notice to Punjab Police, asking them to submit the complete records in the abduction case, and listed the matter for next hearing on May 9.
The Dal Khalsa’s spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh has written a letter to the Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in which he has urged him to arrest and prosecute former Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini. He has said that mere registering FIR against Sumedh Saini means nothing.
Police arrested two more persons linked to the alleged drug-terror nexus, identified as Ranjit Singh and Jaswant Singh in Kalanaur in Gurdaspur district on May 8. Earlier, Police arrested two accomplices of Hizbul Muzahideen (HM) operative Hilal Ahmad Wagay on May 6. Wagay was an associate of HM commander Riyaz Ahmad Naikoo, who was gunned down in south Kashmir.
Police busted an inter-state drug smugglers gang with the arrest of two persons, identified as Lakhvir Singh and Angrej Singh and recovered 18 kg opium from them at Bidhipur in Jalandhar district.
Frankfurt court stated that an Indian national, identified as 54-year-old Balvir will stand trial in Germany accused of spying on Sikh and Kashmiri communities for New Delhi's Secret Service. Federal prosecutors alleged that the suspect has been working with the Indian foreign intelligence agency Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) since 2015.
According to reports, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has directed Khalistani terror groups which are active in Pakistan in smuggle weapons and drugs into Indian Punjab and extend help to the terror groups active in Kashmir. The National Investigation Agency (NIA)’s recent investigation revealed that Pakistan based terrorist organizations are using narcotic trade to generate funds for terror activities in India. The NIA said that Pakistani entities are smuggling narcotics into the Indian territory by hiding it in sacks of rock salt which is imported from Pakistan. This is done through an elaborate network of importers, customs house agents, transporters and the operation is financed through illegal international hawala channels. The NIA investigation also established that the proceeds of narcotic trade are transferred to Kashmir valley through couriers and hawala channel for terrorist purposes.
The Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and other Sikh outfits condemned Sikh Gurudwara Judicial Commission chairperson Satnam Singh Kler to appear as counsel for former DGP Sumedh Singh Saini. However, after the criticism from the Sikh community, Kler later withdrew from the case.
Punjab Police in a joint operation arrested drug smuggler Ranjit Singh Rana alias Cheeta, who was wanted in connection with a 532-kg heroin haul from Attari last year, his brother Gagandeep alias Gagan and a relative Gurmeet Singh from Sirsa district in Haryana. The arrested persons were running a narco-terror network linked to the slain Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) ‘commander’ Rias Naikoo. Police recovered 1.2 kg poppy husk from Gurmeet's possession. Ranjit, who is wanted in 10 criminal cases, was one of the key links in the network engaged in smuggling of drugs and illegal weapons from across the border. Ranjit Singh and Gagan were handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Punjab Police, while Gurmeet, a resident of Vaidwala village, was arrested by the Sirsa police.
Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh warned Pakistan against its ‘persistent attempts’ to spread narco-terrorism in India, asserting that the police force was ‘keeping a close watch’ on anti-national activities across the border even during a crisis. After the arrest of notorious narco-terrorist Ranjit Singh alias Cheeta who acted as a conduit for Pakistan-based terror groups by the NIA, the CM said, "Our eyes are open to what Pakistan is doing." Assuring people that no matter how much the force has been busy with Covid duties, the Punjab CM said, the police was keeping a watch on the borders.
According to reports, Indian counter-terror agencies are suspecting a Khalistan conspiracy in the case of alleged Indian national, identified as 54-year-old Balvir who was accused of spying for Indian intelligence agencies and is set to face trial in Germany. The federal prosecutors have told a regional court in Germany that Balvir was spying on Sikh and Kashmiri communities for India's external intelligence agency, Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW). Indian counter-terror officials said that there is an increasing trend where anonymous complaints and petitions are being filed as part of a motivated campaign by the Khalistan groups against those who are taking them on. The Khalistanis are a potent force in countries like Germany, Canada, UK and US, said the official. Indian security agencies also suspect that elements in Germany with links to security agencies are providing support to the Khalistani leaders. They see this as a reason why no legal action is taken against the Khalistani operatives in that country. One of the top operatives roaming freely in Germany is Gurmeet Singh alias Bagga alias Doctor of the Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF). Gurmeet Singh has allegedly been instrumental in re-organizing the terrorist group to revive terrorism in Punjab - where he is believed to have established sleeper cells, which was recently busted by the Punjab police. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has recently issued red corner notices against Bagga and other Khalistani terrorists operating in different countries. According to sources, the counter-terror agencies are hot on the trail of not only Bagga but other Khalistani leaders with close links in Germany, like Gajinder Singh, Dal Khalsa, Wadhwa Singh, Babbar Khalsa, whose families are residing in Germany. Many of their associates, as well as other Khalistani leaders, have close ties in Pakistan, said the sources.
According to the sources, the arrested notorious cross-border drug smuggler Ranjit Singh alias Cheeta had confessed to have made properties worth Rs 5 crore from the illegal drug trade. Police are now trying to identify his properties and taking further steps to attaching the same. During interrogation, Cheeta claimed that he got just 75 kg heroin smuggled from Attari-Wagah land route before the seizure of 532-kg consignment. However, police sources said that as per their information, he had smuggled around four such consignments earlier. Cheeta was living in Sirsa (Haryana) using the fake name of Gora for the past eight months. Earlier, he spent days in religious shrines by changing names when he went into hiding after the country’s biggest seizure of heroin (532 kg) at the Attari border in June 2019.
Police busted a major narco-gangster module with the arrest of three persons, allegedly linked to the Attari drug haul, identified as Gurpreet Singh, Sarabjit Singh and Sukhdev Singh from Tarn Taran district on May 12. Police also recovered weapons including a 12 bore double barrel rifle, three .32 bore pistols, a 12-bore pistol and a .315 bore pistol, along with two rounds of .315 bore and two rounds of .32 bore cartridges from them. According to Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta, it was revealed during the interrogation that Gurpreet Singh has been in touch with many noted arms and drug dealers and gangsters. He was in touch with Shubham, a Batala-based gangster, and supplied weapons to his associates in Tarn Taran and Ferozepur areas. Besides, he was also in contact with the key accused of the 532 kg heroin Attari drug haul case. The gang was actively involved in supply of weapons in Harike, Patti and Bhikhiwind areas of Tarn Taran, near Indo-Pak border.
The Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said that ever since the imposing of curfew on March 22, 15.802 kg heroin had been recovered in the border district Tarn Taran. Further, the district police had been rigorously pursuing cases of freezing and forfeiture of illegally acquired properties of major drug smugglers, under provisions of NDPS Act. The DGP said properties of 12 drug smugglers worth around Rs 6.22 crore had been frozen by the district police since the imposition of curfew in the state. Besides, 11 new cases of freezing of property, worth around Rs 17.42 crore, had been recently prepared and sent to the competent authority, while seven new cases worth around Rs 5 crore would be sent during this week.
The Kapurthala police said that pro-Khalistan groups are giving unnecessary twist to the death of a kabaddi player on social media to disturb peace in the state. Police, in the press conference, said “Some miscreants on social media are trying to politicise the matter. We convey our deep concern on the false rumours and request the public not to follow such fake news. Those spreading these rumours should refrain from the same.” The statement has come after hardliners from banned organizations, including Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), have been circulating posts against the police citing the incident as a deliberate act of terror by Punjab Police to ‘target Sikhs’. Earlier, the SFJ, in one of its social media posts said, “A Sikh has been killed by police as he exposed the ASI for selling drugs. Punjab Police are selling drugs to the people of Punjab and according to reports, 76% of youth is addicted to drugs. Punjab police are killing the youth with drugs. This is not acceptable. We want Khalistan.”
According to the TV channel Zee News, it’s editor-in-chief Sudhir Chaudhary received a threat call from a Khalistan separatist from UAE. The report said the Khalistani during his call stressed on their referendum 2020 campaign by saying that they will establish Khalistan soon. The caller also said, “Punjab does not belong to someone’s father. And the Referendum will anyway happen. No one can stop Khalistan to establish.”
The federal prosecutor's office said that espionage charges against the Indian man, identified as ‘Balvir S’ in line with German privacy rules, were filed at a state court in Frankfurt. The man is accused of agreeing to pass information on Sikhs and the ‘Kashmir movement’ and their relatives to an employee of India's Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) on or before January 2015. According to German prosecutors, the suspect was in regular telephone and personal contact with the Germany-based intelligence officer and passed on information ‘in numerous cases’ until December 2017. However, they did not specify whether he is in custody. The trial will open on August 25.
The district police arrested one woman, identified as Balbir Kaur along with 55 grams of heroin from Ferozepur district which was for the earlier consignment smuggled from Pakistan.
The Security Forces (SFs), in a joint operation, recovered 7.70 kg heroin worth of Rs 39 crore from near border outpost DT Mall along the Indo-Pakistan border in Ferozepur district.
The chief of Special Task Force (STF), Harpreet Singh Sidhu said that strictness in Punjab has forced the drug peddlers to change the smuggling routes. He said 180 foreign nationals had been arrested in 147 cases registered over three years. Of them, 61 were arrested in 2017, 81 in 2018, 37 in 2019 and one this year. He said the arrests indicated that Delhi had become a major centre from where foreign nationals had been supplying drugs to Punjab. He said since the inception of STF in April 2017, law enforcement agencies had recovered 1,376 kg of heroin, 1,515 kg of opium, 1,24,728 kg of poppy husk, 6,053 kg of ganja and 2,74,33,119 pills/capsules along with crores of rupees of drug money. He stated that the recovery of 464 kg of heroin in 2019 was the highest as compared to the last five years. The STF chief also said owing to enhanced vigil, the smugglers exploited new sea, air and land routes many of which were under the garb of legal trade and commerce.
According to report, the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) is plotting to revive terrorism in Punjab by sitting in Lahore on the behest of Pakistan’s intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The report said that the slain Khalistani leader Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD, had made Ranjit Singh Cheetah a hyperlink between terrorist organizations in Kashmir and sleeper cells in Punjab. Happy PhD was killed by unidentified assailants within the final week of January on the behest of the ISI after establishing a nexus between the militant organizations of Kashmir and the sleepers of Punjab, the report said. According to sources, the ISI killed Happy PhD due to the battle between the sleeper cells of Punjab and the connection established between terrorist organizations of Kashmir. The drug cash from smuggling heroin from Pakistan used to achieve the terrorist organizations of Kashmir by means of Ranjit Singh Cheetah. The Hizbul Mujahideen militants had been in touch with the cheetah. From time to time, Cheetah used to make use of sleeper cells to ship drug cash to Hizbul terrorists.
United States 15-May-2020
The United States (US) presidential candidate and former Vice President, Joe Biden expressed concern over the targeting of Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan, especially after the attack on Gurudwara Har Rai Sahib, and suggested they will be given refugee status in the US if he was elected President.
Security Force arrested an absconding drug-peddler, identified as Hapreet Singh alias Sonu Baba and confiscated 280 gm of heroin from him at a checkpoint on the Jhabal road in Amritsar district. He was wanted in connection with seizure of 1 kg heroin on March 18, 2020.
Punjab Police arrested two persons along with around 20,000 narcotic pills near Mandir village in Moga district.
Ludhiana City Police arrested one person, Sukhwinder Singh alias Sonu along with .315 bore country made pistol, 10-gram heroin and two bullets from Ladhowal in Ludhiana district. According to police, the accused was injured in police firing after he allegedly jumped at least six checkpoints.
During the interrogation of the arrested Ranjit Singh Rana alias Cheeta, the kingpin in the 532-kg heroin seizure case, and his aides by the police, it was revealed that they had transferred Rs 6 crore drug money to the terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) during the past five years. According to officials, Cheeta and his accomplices had been in direct link with Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for the smuggling of heroin from across the border, and for transferring the drug money to the terror outfit. They said the gang members had cleared five drug consignments through Attari-Wagah border before the seizure of 532-kg heroin. The officials said the police have also identified around 10 more members of the gang which will be nabbed soon. Some of them are from Tarn Taran, Ferozepur and Jalandhar districts, they added. Cheeta was arrested on May 9 by Punjab Police from Begi village in Sirsa district of Haryana with his brother Gagandeep Singh alias Bhola.
Former Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini appeared before the Special Investigation Teams (SIT) in a case registered against him and other policemen regarding the abduction and disappearance of Balwant Singh Multani at Mataur police station. Earlier, he was summoned by the SIT after a Mohali court on May 11 granted him anticipatory bail.
According to highly-placed diplomatic sources, German prosecutors will present evidence that a Frankfurt man scheduled for trial in a Federal state-security court in August received payoffs from India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) for spying on Khalistan and Kashmiri secessionists, as well as other sensitive details of the intelligence service’s operations in that country. The upcoming trial of German resident, identified as Balvir Singh scheduled for August 25, according to German government documents, is the third recent case involving RAW assets in that country, and comes in the wake of similar prosecutions in Canada and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Border Security Force (BSF) recovered four packets of containing 1.980 kg of heroin from Amritsar sector in Amritsar district. According to BSF, the vigilant troops of the BSF heard some loud noises of miscreants near the post and challenged them following which, the miscreants fled towards Pakistan Territory. During search of the area, four packets heroin were recovered.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) demanded an independent inquiry into the ‘drug trade’ across Punjab during the past two months of curfew.
According to report, the United Sikhs in Australia forwarded their concern for the Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan by writing to all of the Parliamentarians of Australia, including the Prime Minister, Mr. Scott Morrison. They were requested to treat the Afghan Sikh issue on a priority basis and provide them safe refuge in Australia as the lives of those Afghan Sikhs and Hindus hangs in the balance.
Convicted Al Qaeda terrorist Mohammed Ibrahim Zubair, found guilty of raising funds for the terrorist organisation in the United States, has been deported to India after completing his sentence. Mohammad Ibrahim Zubair, who hailed from Hyderabad, is one among the 165 people who arrived at Amritsar airport on May 20 after being deported from the United States due to unprecedented health crisis.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) told the special court in Mohali that the alleged kingpin in the 532 kg heroin haul case, Ranjeet Singh Rana alias Cheeta, had hatched a ‘larger conspiracy’ with ramifications for the country’s national security. Further, the court sent Rana and his brother, Gagandeep Singh alias Gagan, to police remand till May 29. Rana, who has links with Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) and was involved in terror funding, had smuggled heroin and other drugs from Pakistan concealed in rock salt consignments through the integrated check-post (ICP) at the Attari border, 30 km from Amritsar.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal stated that gold and other sacred valuables belonging to the Sikh shrines ‘are a collective treasure of the Sikh community’. “There is no question of any individual or organisation even contemplating in the direction of donating even the smallest part of this treasure for any cause,” he said in a statement, referring to the controversy surrounding DSGMC chief Manjinder Singh Sirsa’s ‘inadvertent suggestion’ with regard to a proposal for donations of gold by shrines of various religious communities as a help in the fight against Covid-19.
The Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) arrested two persons, identified as Rinku Singh and Harbhej Singh and recovered 252 kg poppy husk and 4 kg opium from them during the search of their truck at a naka on the Badrukhan-Ubhawal road in Sangrur district.
The Barnala police recovered 8.2 kg heroin from Bareke border out post (BOP) across the fence near the Pakistan border in Ferozepur district. The police with support from Border Security Force (BSF) also recovered 15 live cartridges appeared to be manufactured in Pakistan. The consignment was put in various packets which has been recovered on a specific tip off provided by a woman already arrested with a small quantity of heroine few days ago.
The Border Security Force (BSF) thwarted a fresh attempt of the Pakistani smugglers to push drugs and ammunition in to the Indian Territory and seized 1.9 kg heroin, 280-gram opium besides arms and ammunition including one pistol of 9mm calibre, one magazine and five live cartridges near the border at Ferozepur sector of Ferozepur district.
The Border Security Force (BSF) recovered more than six kg heroin from Abohar and Ferozepur sectors of Ferozepur district, near the international border in Punjab. According to BSF, the troops recovered 5.56 kg heroin from near the border in Abohar. Similarly, the security forces recovered one kg heroin from the border in Ferozepur sector.
The Border Security Force (BSF) recovered 1 kg heroin which was concealed in a 1.5 litre plastic bottle from Ferozepur sector in Ferozepur district.
The Border Security Force (BSF) troops recovered 2 kg heroin from near the Shameke border outpost in Ferozepur sector in Ferozepur district. Sources said that the consignment was being smuggled through the water channel with help of two plastic bottles concealed in water hyacinth.
United Kingdom 25-May-2020
A Pakistani man, who attacked the Guru Arjan Dev shrine in Derby in Derbyshire, UK was arrested on May 25 morning. The Gurudwara described the vandalization of the shrine as a hate crime. The vandal left a hand-written note in broken English on a piece of paper in the Gurudwara, making an appeal to Sikhs to ‘help people in Kashmir’. Interestingly, besides scribbling ‘Pak Allah Pak’' in a corner of the paper, he had also provided a phone number. According to sources, Police later identified the man and arrested him.
The radical group, Dal Khalsa decided to undertake an annual ‘Genocide Remembrance Parade’ on June 5 in Amritsar to mark the 36th anniversary of Operation Blue Star. Dal Khalsa has been regularly observing this day by undertaking a march on June 5 and giving the call for Amritsar bandh on June 6, for the past ten years. However, Covid-19 has made the Dal Khalsa put its call for a shutdown on hold. The meeting of party office bearers under the presidentship of Harpal Singh Cheema was convened to chalk out a protest programme to observe ‘Ghallughara week’. At a press conference, party spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said the final decision would be taken on June 1 in regard to the call for the Amritsar bandh.
The Akal Takht and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) condemned the vandalism of Guru Arjan Dev Ji Gurudwara in Derby, UK, on May 25 a day before the martyrdom day of the Guru. Akal Takht officiating Jathedar Giani Hapreet Singh demanded the UK Government to ensure the safety of Gurudwaras and Sikh citizens.
United Kingdom 26-May-2020
The World Sikh Parliament (WSP) released two videos, one in English and one in Punjabi, with advice for Gurudwaras around the world on considerations they should take when reopening their doors to the Sangat after the lockdown.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) observed the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev at Gurdwara Sri Ramsar Sahib in Amritsar on May 26 even as Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) will observe the historical day on June 16. The difference in dates is because PSGPC follows the Pal Singh Purewal-authored Nankashahi Calendar, while the SGPC follows the same calendar, but with amendments.
Police arrested two drug peddlers, identified as Lakhbir Cahand and Gurpreet Singh and recovered six kilograms of opium from their possession near Chak Jandu village Jalandhar district.
United Kingdom 27-May-2020
According to reports, Derby Police will look into possible terrorism links as part of their wider investigation into the attack on Guru Arjan Dev Gurudwara Derby, UK.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) recently registered over 20 money-laundering cases in connection with the seizure of drugs by various enforcement agencies in Punjab. The findings may be incorporated in the reports to be shared with key Financial Action Task Force (FATF) member nations to highlight the issue of narco-terrorism involving elements from Pakistan. According to the officials, ED is also initiating a probe into the seizure of 532 kg of heroin, worth about Rs 2,700 crore in the international market, and 52 kg of a mixed narcotic substance by the Customs Department at the Integrated Check Post on the Wagah-Attari border on June 29, 2019.
A team of Special Task Force (STF) arrested an accused, identified as Partap Singh for smuggling 5.04 kg of heroin from Pakistan, in Ludhiana district. The accused, who was supplying the contraband in ration bags on a motorcycle, was held at a ‘naka’ near Casa Le Baron marriage palace.
A Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) team arrested two drug peddlers, identified as Vishal Singh alias Vicky and Deepak Kumar alias Deepu along with 1.2 kg opium near Chaukiman police post in Jagraon in Ludhiana district.
The Ontario Superior Court has recently applied the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2018 ruling to dismiss a defamation action brought by Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) against an Indian based news outlet and the Republic of India (the Republic), on the basis that Ontario does not have jurisdiction. The decision in ‘Sikhs for Justice v The Republic of India, 2020 ONSC 2628’ provides important guidance on what the court considers when determining whether Ontario is an appropriate jurisdiction for online-based defamation claims, and therefore on the factors that parties should consider in starting litigation in Ontario.
Police arrested six persons, including a Nigerian national and recovered 3.5 kg heroin and Rs 1 lakh drug money from them in Chhajjumajra village road in Khararin in Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar district on May 28. According to police, five men, Parivar Singh, Ravi Verma, Dalvinder Singh, Anjul Sodhi and Neelu were arrested along with 1.3 kg heroin and Rs 1 lakh drug money on May 28 in Punjab. Upon their interrogation, police arrested another drug supplier, a Nigerian national named David, from Delhi and seized 2.2 kg heroin from him on May 31.
The Border Security Force (BSF) seized three plastic bottles of heroin weighing 1.6 kg from the Ferozepur sector in Ferozepur district on May 28. A spokesperson said that the contraband was attempted to be pushed through water channel from Pakistan with the help of water Hyacinth (Jalkumbhi).
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed the first supplementary charge sheet against a narco-terrorist, identified as Amit Gambhir alias Bobby who was among 17 people arrested for their alleged involvement in the 532-kg heroin haul case. The contraband, which was smuggled from Pakistan in a consignment of rock salt, was seized from the integrated check post (ICP) at the Attari border in June 29, 2019. Gambhir, was the 17th accused arrested in the case in which the NIA filed charge sheet against other 16 accused in December 2019.
Punjab Police busted a drug smuggling racket and arrested one smuggler, identified as Gurlal Singh and recovered 8 kg of heroin from a wheat field which was allegedly buried by him in the border in Tarn Taran district. The drug was buried in the wheat field situated across the barbed wire fence and ahead of the zero line near Rattoke village of Bhikhiwind sub-division on the India-Pakistan border. Besides heroin, Police also recovered 30 gm opium from the border.
According the reports, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ)’s scheduled referendum 2020 programme - an exercise to know the opinion of Sikhs for a separate Sikh state - has been deferred to 2022. According to a Pakistani private TV channel, Referendum 2020 was scheduled to be held in November 2020 but has been deferred due to coronavirus pandemic. The new date for holding the referendum would be announced soon, the report said. Interestingly, Pakistan’s Khalistani Sikh leader Gopal Singh Chawla had earlier hinted at a delay in holding the referendum, saying that, “Neither is it written in Quran nor in Guru Granth Sahib that Referendum 2020 has to be held in 2020 only.”
According to reports, keeping in view the history of clashes at Akal Takht on anniversaries of Operation Bluestar, Punjab police are doing all they can to prevent an untoward incident on June 6. Police personnel said that they had special instructions from seniors to prevent the gathering inside the shrine till the Operation Bluestar anniversary. “We are apprehending that members of some Sikh bodies may gather inside the shrine in advance. Actually, we want to prevent any untoward incident. Secondly, gathering is violation of the Covid-19 guidelines. So, we are taking these measures. However, we are letting people go who have genuine reason to visit the shrine,” said the Police.
The state special operation cell (SSOC) arrested two persons with links with the terror outfit, Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) for “disruptive activities” in Punjab. The Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Rakesh Kumar refused to reveal their names and other details as the matter is under investigation. According to sources, the suspected persons are having contacts with Gursharanveer Singh, an ‘active member’ of KLF.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a charge sheet against 10 accused in the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) narco-terror network module case. The case pertains to seizure of 500 grams of heroin and Rs 1.2 lakh drug money from three men in Amritsar on May 31, 2019. The NIA took over the probe on January 22, 2020. During the investigation, it was emerged the role of Harmeet Singh alias PhD, Pakistan-based self-styled chief of KLF, and Jasmeet Singh Hakimzada, a Dubai-based international drugs smuggler and money launderer, in running the narco-terror network to further the terrorist activities of KLF. The narco-terror network included persons involved in smuggling and selling of heroin, militant elements and Hawala operatives based in Punjab, Delhi and Dubai, who were responsible for the entire chain from selling of heroin and channelizing the proceeds to Dubai and Pakistan at the behest of Harmeet Singh and Hakimzada.
United Kingdom 29-May-2020
The pro-Khalistani group, World Sikh Parliament (WSP) condemned the recent attack on Derby Gurdwara in UK carried out by a Pakistani origin Muslim man, identified as Mohammed Ibrar on May 25.
Police arrested two persons, a truck driver Amarjeet Singh and his associate Gurpreet Singh along with 120 kg poppy husk and one kg opium in Samrai village near Jandiala in Amritsar district.
Security Force arrested two persons, identified as Ashwani Kumar of Patoia and Ashwani Kumar of Sahora and recovered one kg opium from a special cabin made in their truck in Pathankot district.
The Uttar Pradesh (UP) Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and Special Operation Group of the Punjab Police, in a joint operation arrested a suspected terrorist owing allegiance to Khalistan movement, identified as Tirath Singh (32) from Thaparnagar in Meerut. Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) - ATS, DK Thakur said that cache of literature pertaining to Khalistan movement and posters of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale were recovered from his possession. "Social media account and WhatsApp of Tirath were filled with messages showing his support to the Khalistan movement," said Police. Police also said that Tirath was arrested in the past also by Punjab Police for supplying arms and ammunition to the supporters of Khalistan in the state.
Police arrested a key accused in cross-border smuggling of drugs and weapons, identified as identified as Ajay Pal Singh from Chheharta area in Amritsar district. The accused is the kingpin in the drone module case. He has been absconding since long and was hiding at different places by changing his identity. A total of ten accused have been arrested so far in connection with the Drone Module. The module members have disclosed that they were involved in cross-border smuggling, including drugs and weapons over drones over the past few months.
Police, during a search at the Amritsar central jail, three mobile phones were recovered from a member of a narco-terror module, a gangster and another inmate. The accused are Rahul Chauhan of Ambala, a former army man and a key member of a narco-terror module busted by the Amritsar police in January 2020, gangster Amanpreet Singh alias Rinka of Amritsar, and Jagdeep Singh alias Jaggu of Tarn Taran district. According to the police, the module members were involved in smuggling of narcotics and weapons from Pakistan by using drones. Two highly sophisticated China-made drones, two walkie-talkie sets, Rs 6.22 lakh, and a magazine of an Insas rifle were recovered from them.
According to investigation agencies, the investigations into the seizure of 532 kg of heroin on the Wagah-Attari border in Punjab last year revealed that the network through which drug consignments were being pushed from Pakistan was also being used to transfer funds to the terrorists operating in Jammu and Kashmir. The contraband, concealed in six rock salt consignments, was detected by the Customs Department on June 29, 2019. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the case in July 2019 and has so far filed two charge sheets. While the Enforcement Directorate (ED) may soon initiate a money-laundering investigation into the drug haul, probe agencies have gathered several crucial details about the accused persons.
According to reports, the pro-Khalistan group, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and their activities has been earning criticisms across several nations and this is evident from various incidents that are taking place in recent times. The latest is an ugly incident at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Surrey, BC Canada where Hardip Singh Nijjar, President of the gurdwara was involved in a brawl. Sukhi Chahal, CEO and chairman of California-based JDS Unified LLC said that “In a May 28, 2020 tweet, one of my latest questions put to Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, self-styled Legal Adviser of so-called 'Sikhs For Justice' (SFJ) was to comment on the recent reported fight between Hardeep Nijjar and others at Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Surrey, BC Canada.” He said, “Hardeep Nijjar is learnt to be a ‘proclaimed Offender’ and a wanted criminal in India." “I fail to understand why such criminals are at all allowed to enter other countries and granted asylums as in Nijjar’s case. How do such criminals manage to occupy important positions of Gurdwaras abroad?”, asked Chahal.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Vinit Goenka said that “Twitter is involved in willful collection of money from terrorist organisations perpetrating crimes against citizens of this country.” “Would we tolerate someone who would take blood money to promote the cause of separatism,” asked Goenka. He said that he had been investigating the promotion of hashtag ‘Khalistan 2020’, which was being backed by US-based group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a secessionist outfit that advocates the creation of a separate Sikh homeland. The outfit is also a primary backer of an online referendum ‘Khalistan 2020.’
Punjab police, ahead of the Operation Bluestar anniversary that falls on June 6, tightened security in and around the Golden Temple in Amritsar. This move comes in the wake of clashes between Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) workers and pro-Khalistan activists in the Golden Temple in recent years. A police officer said, “We apprehend that some Sikh activists might gather inside the shrine in advance. Moreover, we want to ensure social distancing in view of the Covid pandemic. Section 144 has been imposed, and carrying any weapon, including the “kirpan”, has been banned.” According to reports, Akal Takht officiating Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh is yet to take a call on the programme. His “parallel” counterpart Bhai Dhyan Singh Mand, however, has said he would offer at Akal Takht and deliver a “public address”.
The Dal Khalsa head H S Cheema stated that Narendra Modi led Indian government has turned out to be disastrous and terrible for the minorities during its second tenure. He said the six years of Modi on the seat of Prime Minister has spell doom for the minorities.
A day after Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Captain Amarinder Singh warned China that India wouldn’t tolerate any bullying by Bejing and had also cautioned it to not take India lightly, the Sikh for Justice (SFJ) leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun wrote a letter to Chinese premier Xi Jinping justifying China’s position against India and extending support of pro Khalistani Sikhs. "We consider China's counter military action against India as legitimate and justified to protect its territorial integrity under international laws", writes Pannun to Jinping. In an attempt to rope in China in SFJ’s separatists campaign Referendum 2020, Pannun urged the Chinese president to take up before the UN Security Council, the issue of Sikhs right to ‘self-determination and secession’ of Punjab from India through referendum. Pannun in his letter also said that a delegation of SFJ’s Referendum campaigners would reach Bejing in the third week of August 2020. Meanwhile, according to sources, intelligence agencies are of view that Pannun feared action against SFJ in US since India and US enjoys a cordial relation and Pannun was exploring to get support from China, at least in media, that has tense relations with both India and US. “SFJ’s claims of being a human rights group with several million followers in Punjab and around the globe is also questionable and has no evidence of same” said sources.
Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh asked Sikhs to maintain peace while observing the 36th anniversary of operation Bluestar in Amritsar on June 6 and urged those who cannot travel to stay home. He said, “Since restrictions on opening places of worship will last till June 7, it seems impossible for many devotees to reach Sri Harmandar Sahib on June 6. So, I appeal to the entire Sikh community to observe the anniversary with peace, love and harmony at Akal Takht or wherever they are. The sangat which will not be able to reach Akal Takht should remember the martyrs from home and tune in to watch the ceremony’s live telecast,” he said.
The Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh directed the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to install a portrait of former Sikh militant Waryam Singh, who died of a cardiac arrest on May 24, at the central Sikh museum at Golden Temple. “He spent his entire life for the Sikh struggle. In view of his sacrifice for the community, the SGPC is directed to install his portrait in the museum as a tribute to him,” the Jathedar said.
A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court dismissed the bail application of one of the accused in September 4, 2019, Tarn Taran blast case. The accused Malkit Singh alias Shera had applied for the bail on health grounds which was rejected by the court. The court observed that evidence pointed to the accused was active member of pro-Khalistan terrorist gang. The court said it was of the opinion that there was sufficient ground for believing that accusation against the applicant/accused is prima facie true.
Police arrested a proclaimed offender (PO), identified as Yakoob Mohammad alias Jagroop along with 273-gram heroin and Rs 50,000 in cash as drug money from Barnala in Barnala district.
The Organized Crime Control Unit (OCCU) of Punjab police arrested a pro-Khalistan terrorist and one of the most wanted gangsters, Tejinder Singh alias Teja, from Mohali in SAS Nagar district while he was allegedly, trying to mobilize funds for the Khalistan movement. According to police, Teja had recently executed a dacoity in Ludhiana, where he looted 2kg gold. He has, reportedly, confessed that he was arranging money for a spate of targeted killings as part of the Khalistan agenda, and to disrupt the ongoing Operation Blue Star anniversary week in Punjab. Teja has over 25 criminal cases against him, including murder, attempt to murder, car-jacking, and dacoity. He had started out as a gangster but was soon radicalized. He planned the targeted killings at the instance of some hardcore terrorists he met during his stints in various prisons. Police say he has the support of banned Khalistani outfits. According to Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta, a set of Punjab Police uniform, along with an ID card of Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB), were seized from Teja. He planned to use the uniform and the card to gain access to restricted areas for commission of various kinds of crimes, including terrorist actions, the DGP said, adding that the accused clearly posed a high security risk to the state. A Chinese 30 caliber pistol, 10 cartridges and a car were also seized from Teja’s possession, DGP said.
United Kingdom 02-Jun-2020
The largest Gurudwara in the UK, Guru Sri Singh Sabha, located at Havelock Road in Southhall recently put up a picture of slain Khalistani terrorist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale along with the picture of Guru Arjan Dev, who was the fifth guru of Sikhs. Some Sikhs wearing jackets with Khalistan logo were also seen in the premises of the Gurudwara giving out food packets to those in need in this period of Covid-19. Calling these elements terrorists, Lord Ranger, the Chairman of British Sikh Council said, “I will be taking up the matter to the highest level.”
The pro-Khalistan terrorist Tirath Singh, who was arrested from Meerut, UP on May 30, during interrogation, mentioned that he had spoken to Gursharanbir Singh, primarily based within the UK, by way of Facebook Messenger. Tirath Singh was being made a supporter of Khalistan. In lieu of this, cash has additionally been reported to be in his account. Tirath Singh has been given a four-day remand by the court docket to the Punjab Police
A team of the Delhi Police arrested the alleged mastermind of the drug smuggling gang from Hoshiarpur in in Hoshiarpur district on the basis of the information given by two Hoshiarpur residents, who were arrested with 12 kg opium in Delhi on May 29.
According to reports, a long-drawn battle is underway within the banned Khalistani terror outfit Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) more than four months after its ‘chief’ Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD was killed under mysterious circumstances in Lahore in January, 2020. Report said, in the fray for the new leadership of KLF are radical elements from Pakistan, UK, Italy, and Switzerland. Pakistan based Lakhbir Singh Rode also ‘chief’ of International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF), Paramjeet Singh Panjwar, the UK based Paramjeet Singh Panjwar, Gursharanvir Singh Wahiwala, KLF spokesperson Dhanna Singh, Italy based Gurjinder Singh Shastri and Switzerland based Pappu Singh are trying to take the mantle of the group. Though the KLF has its separatist Khalistani agenda, the mainstay of its existence is by drug trafficking especially in Indian Punjab, and Pakistan’s notorious Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has used the terror group for smuggling illegal weapons and drugs into India. Report added that ISI has been backing Lakhbir Singh Rode and Paramjeet Singh Panjwar. Both are trying to get support from cadre based in Italy, Germany, Canada and the UK to become next KLF ‘chief’. Wahiwala and Shastri do not seem to have the support of the ISI, which can make things difficult for them. KLF is now heading towards a schism with a new faction emerging led by UK based Gursharanvir Singh Wahiwala. Wahiwala is getting support from cadres in Canada, US and Italy. What has increased the infighting is Wahiwala alleging that Dhanna Singh, the spokesperson of KLF, is responsible for the killing of Happy PhD. Meanwhile, house of Gursharanvir Singh was raided by Mid Westland Police in UK on February 19 on the complaint made by Dhanna Singh fueling the acrimony. UK based KLF militants had assembled on February 23 to discuss the future course of the group after the death of Happy PHD. A total of eight persons, Gursharanvir Singh, Amritveer Singh, Avtar Singh Khandaand Amanveer Singh, attended the meeting. Gursharanvir vouched for himself citing his close ties with former KLF ‘chiefs’ -Happy PhD, Mintooo. While asking to avoid Italian and swiss contender he called for the continuation of violent activities.
The arrested pro-Khalistan terrorist, Tejinder Singh alias Teja confessed that he and his close associate Rachpal Singh alias Daula, were planning to loot a bank cash van that was used to transport currency from the main branches of the SBI to ATMs in Maur and Talwandi Sabo. A case was registered against Teja and his associates, at State Special Operation Cell, SAS Nagar, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Days ahead of the anniversary of Operation Blue Star, Amritsar police properly fenced the boundary of the Golden Temple and devotees are discouraged from going further. There are more restrictions on the entry of devotees as compared to the peak days of the Covid-19 lockdown, when curfew was imposed across the state.
Dal Khalsa alleged that police have made it impossible for devotees to enter Golden Temple due to the anniversary of Operation Blue Star, to be observed on June 6. It also said it has been denied permission by Amritsar police to carry out its annual ‘Ghallughara Yadgaari’ march (an annual activity for the last 15 years) on June 5 in Amritsar city due to Covid-19 protocol. However, Amritsar Police Commissioner Sukhchain Singh Gill denied the allegations of the Dal Khalsa and said that, “We are outside the Golden Temple only to maintain law and order. We are not there to stop anyone.”
Authorities refused permission to Dal Khalsa to hold ‘Ghallughara Yadgaari March’ on June 5 to mark the 36th anniversary of Operation Bluestar. However, the Dal Khalsa leadership has decided to send its five-member team to the Akal Takht on the same day at 5 pm. Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said the march by five members of the Dal Khalsa will be symbolic in nature.
Facebook users and its photo sharing social media app Instagram complained that the sites were blocking the hashtag #Sikh at a time the community was remembering Operation Bluestar.
The Jammu and Kashmir Youth Social Forum (JKYSF) leader, Angad Singh paid tributes to all Sikh leaders and Sikh Sangat pilgrims who were killed in Indian Army’s Operation Blue Star in Golden temple in June 1984, in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). He said that “We in Kashmir remember this day as black day. Also, this day is a proof of Sikh and Muslim brotherhood right from Kashmir to Punjab and all over the world.”
According to a confidential report prepared by the Indian intelligence agencies, Indo-Canadian crime syndicates, dominated by NRIs from Punjab, are funding separatist groups, including Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), in a bid to rekindle the Khalistan movement in India. The report revealed that crime syndicates like Dhaliwal and Grewal gangs, involved in drug trafficking and operating out of the Canadian state of British Columbia, are linked to SFJ leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and his aides. Dhaliwal and Grewal gangs founded a Vancouver-based notorious mafia syndicate ''Brothers Keepers''. Besides drug trafficking, contract killing and gun running, Brothers Keepers also fund SFJ leaders and those associated with the Khalistan movement. The report also said that with the support of illicit funds, extremist Sikh leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun is conspiring to bring several Khalistani factions under one umbrella, and on this Sunday (June 7), he would be addressing a global video conference in this connection.
As per the reports, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is likely to facilitate a video conference between leaders of various Sikh militant groups operating in Pakistan and other countries as differences have emerged among them following the murder of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) leader Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD outside a Gurudwara in Lahore in January 2020. According to intelligence sources, a majority of Sikh militant leaders living under ISI protection were involved in smuggling of narcotics and Happy’s murder was most likely a fallout of territorial dispute. “There is a cut throat competition among the Sikh militant groups in Pakistan to become ISI ‘favorite’ and Happy’s murder was a clear-cut result of the dominance of a different Sikh militant outfit. Otherwise, no one could have even touched him, that too outside a gurdwara,” said sources. It also said that ISI favoured International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) ‘chief’ Lakhbir Singh Rode and Khalistan Commando Force (KCF)’s Paramjit Singh Panjwar to play a prominent role in KLF after Happy’s murder but others from three countries of Europe wanted a UK-based Sikh leader to have the reigns of KLF in his hands. This leadership issue has led to a schism between them. “We are of view that ISI will soon hold a video conference among the warring Sikh militant leaders from UK, Europe and Pakistan to bring about a truce,” sources said.
Police arrested two persons, identified as Sachin Kumar, and a woman named Jasbir Kaur alias Simty along with 1 kg heroin from Industrial Area in Phase-7 in Mohali in SAS Nagar district. On their interrogation, another person Raghbir Singh, was arrested and recovered 45 grams heroin from him in Mohali.
Police arrested two persons. Identified as Balbir Singh and Gurnam Singh Gogi and recovered 31 kg Poppy Husk from them in Harlalpur village in SAS Nagar district.
The US-based Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) leader, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in a message to Sikhs of Pakistan appealed to them to converge at Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib on June 6 to perform ardas and also raise slogans for Khalistan. He said that Sikh for Justice (SFJ) would be holding a conference on June 6 to update Sikh community regarding their divisive ‘Referendum 2020’. However, the president of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC), Satwant Singh didn’t comment on Pannun’s call to Sikhs of Pakistan. However, sources didn’t rule out the possibility of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) facilitating a video conference between Sikh militants of Pakistan and those abroad. “There is likelihood of forging of new ties especially SFJ exhorting Pakistani Sikhs to hold anti-India protest at Kartarpur and we are of view that Pakistan’s Khalistani leader Gopal Singh Chawla will be playing a key role,” said sources.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) advised the ‘sangat’ to pay their homage to those killed in the Operation Bluestar from their homes only. SGPC has also assigned duties to its task force to maintain peace in the temple complex.
The national president of Anti-Terrorist Front, India, Veeresh Shandilya in a release, issued on June 5 demanded from administration to take action against the persons wearing t-shirts with photographs of militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
According to report, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and the Union government have been in communication for the past few months to fix a meeting between Union Home Minister Amit Shah and SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal to negotiate an out-of-court settlement to a 35-year-old case in which Rs 1,000 crore damages have been sought from the central government for carrying out the 1984 operation. The correspondence between the two sides to arrange the meeting was initiated as per orders of the Delhi High Court after a hearing on December 4, 2019, but it got abruptly paused due to the pandemic outbreak. The process to start negotiations had rolled after the SGPC asked for a meeting with Shah to settle the case during the court hearing. A senior SGPC official said, “Correspondence has been initiated. First, we got a letter from the Home Ministry to fix the meeting of the Home Minister with SGPC president to start negotiations. Then SGPC also sent a letter in response. The correspondence came to a halt after the coronavirus outbreak. The next hearing of the case in May was also adjourned. We can expect the correspondence to start after the normalization of the pandemic situation. So far, no meeting could be arranged.”
Posters with slogans of 'Khalistan Zindabad' were spotted at Gurudwaras, temples, gaushala and some other places, on the anniversary of Operation Blue Star, at Kalanwali town in Sirsa district of Haryana. According to police, the posters were installed at some time on June 4 night, which were removed by police later. Meanwhile, intelligence agencies of the state and central government have become alert. A senior officer said that the posters, 'June 1984 is neither forgettable nor spared' have been pasted.
Security agencies were put on alert and vigil increased in and around the holy city of Amritsar ahead of the 36th anniversary of Operation Blue Star. Despite coronavirus restrictions, Punjab Police, paramilitary forces and intelligence personnel were positioned at sensitive places across Amritsar, particularly in the congested walled city area where the Darbar Sahib, popularly known as Golden Temple, complex is located.
According to report, investigating agencies have zeroed in on Germany-based Gurmeet Singh Bagga, who has emerged as a common link in the narco-terror network through which drugs and funds for terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir were being pushed into the country from Pakistan. An agency official said that “The key accused identified during the probe into the seizure of 532 kg of heroin and 52 kg of mixed narcotics by the Customs Department at the Wagah-Attari border last year have suspected links with Bagga, who hails from Hoshiarpur in Punjab. He was also involved in the smuggling of weapons from Pakistan to Punjab using GPS-fitted drones last year.” The Interpol had issued a Red Notice against Bagga in 2018 following requests from the Indian agencies.
The Dal Khalsa staged a symbolic ‘genocide remembrance parade’ amid COVID-19 outbreak, to pay homage to the ‘martyrs’ on the 36th anniversary of Operation Blue Star. The five members of Dal Khalsa marched from their party office to Sri Akal Takht Sahib, where they performed Ardas in the memory of those who perished during the operation. They were carrying Sikh Flag symbolizing Sikh sovereignty and placards in support of their mission for Khalistan.
United Kingdom 05-Jun-2020
The UK’s first turbaned Sikh Member of Parliament (MP) and the Labour Party politician, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi called for an independent inquiry into the extent of the involvement of the then Margaret Thatcher led British government in the Operation Blue Star in June 1984. While raising the issue in the House of Commons to mark 36 years of operation at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, also called for a debate on the issue.
Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh, when asked about the threats of disturbance to mark the Operation Blue Star anniversary, said that nobody would be allowed to disrupt the peace of Punjab, which had lost 35,000 lives during the dark days of terror. No Punjabi wants this, he said, adding that it was only a handful of anti-India elements that continued to try and provoke people in the name of Khalistan every now and then.
Punjab Police along with BSF recovered 4.6 kg heroin and 50-gram opium from near the border out post Ullo Ke in the Ferozepur sector in Ferozepur district.
According to reports, empowered by the Akal Takht acting Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh’s statement on Khalistan, the US-based secessionist group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) vowed to continue with its plans to hold voting for its unofficial Punjab Independence Referendum in the year 2020 while complying with the COVID-19 safety guidelines of WHO. On the 36th martyrdom year of Sant Bhindranwale, SFJ held a global conference addressed by pro Khalistan activists and international experts of democracy and referendum and announced that from July 4, 2020, people living in Punjab and Sikhs living anywhere in India will be able to register their votes for non-governmental Punjab Independence Referendum.
As per the Punjab police records, on an average 39 accused were arrested every day in cases registered under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, in Punjab in the past three years. Punjab Police also registered an average 31 FIRs per day under the NDPS Act since March 16, 2017 in the state. It reveals that from March 16, 2017, after the new state government took over the charge, a total number of 46,724 accused have been arrested in 37,526 FIRs till June 3, 2020. During this almost 40 months period, the state police have made recovery of a total of over 1,426 kilograms of heroin, over 1,569 kilograms of opium, 1.27 lakh kilograms of poppy husk, over 375 kilograms of charas, over 6,153 kilograms of ganja and over 852 kilograms of bhang. Similarly, over 1.94 lakh injections, 2.79 crore pills and capsules, and 427 kilograms of intoxicant powder has also been seized. There are 180 foreign nationals among those arrested in the last over three years in the NDPS cases. The state police have been able to achieve 68% conviction rate in NDPS cases. The STF police station in Mohali has recorded 100% conviction rate.
Pro-Khalistan slogans were raised by some Sikh hardliners in the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar on the 36th anniversary of Operation Blue Star. Around 100 activists led by Imaan Singh Mann, son of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) – SAD (Amritsar) - president and former MP Simranjit Singh Mann, raised the slogans at the Akal Takht. ‘Parallel Jathedar’ of Akal Takht Dhian Singh Mand, who entered the premises with the Mann-led group, addressed the gathering. Earlier in the day, there was a minor scuffle between policemen and the group led by Imaan Singh Mann as they were initially denied entry inside the Golden Temple. Mann sustained a foot injury during the scuffle. However, the group was later allowed entry following intervention of senior police officers present on the spot.
Members of Sikh hardliner outfit Damdami Taksal along with Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) officials honoured the families of those who were killed during Operation Blue Star, which was carried out in 1984 to flush out heavily-armed terrorists holed up in the Golden Temple. The main programme to honour such families was organized by the Akal Takht. Giani Harpreet Singh, while addressing the gathering, said that the Sikh community will always remember the unhealed wounds of Operation Blue Star.
Barring minor skirmishes between activists of certain Sikh organisations with the police to gain entry into the complex, the anniversary of Operation Bluestar event at the Golden Temple was largely peaceful. The recitation of kirtan and bhog of akhand path, dedicated to the occasion, was also performed.
After the culmination of the annual function at Akal Takht to mark the 36th anniversary of Operation Bluestar, the Akal Takht officiating Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh in a reply to the question on slogans being raised in favour of Khalistan during the function by some hardliners, said, "There is nothing wrong if slogans in favour of Khalistan are raised after the function by the Sikh hardliners. If the government offers us Khalistan, what else do we need, we will accept it, because every Sikh wants it." He also said that he had no objection if Sikhs raise slogans of Khalistan outside Akal Takht Sahib but raising such slogans in the official function of Operation Blue Star is unacceptable. Endorsing Jathedar’s views, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Gobind Singh Longowal, who was present also said that "If the government offers it (Khalistan) we will accept it." Earlier while delivering his annual address at the function as it was raining, Jathedar said, "As Sikhs lack unity, there are these restrictions by the police for devotees at the Golden Temple." Ardas and kirtan were also performed at the Takht in memory of those killed in Operation Bluestar. Meanwhile, the Sarbat Khalsa appointed 'parallel' officiating Jathedar of Akal Takht, Dhyan Singh Mand along with his supporters also reached the complex.
Punjab, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on June 6 condemned the attitude of Giani Harpreet Singh, the Akal Takht Jathedar, who was justifying the demand of Khalistan. BJP leader and former cabinet minister Manoranjan Kalia said that such type of support to the demand of the radicals by a religious head of such a prime institution was never expected. Supporting and justifying the demand of Khalistan, the Jathedar had hurt the feelings of crores of Hindus even who have faith in the Ten Great Sikh Gurus.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Gobind Singh Longowal on June 6 said that they are yet to take a decision on the Centre’s offer for an out-of-court settlement in the Rs 1,000 crore damage suit filed in the Delhi High Court for carrying out the Operation Bluestar at the Golden Temple in 1984. Talks are on for the past few months to fix a meeting between Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Longowal to negotiate a settlement to the 35-year-old case.
The pro-Khalistani Sikhs in Pakistan converged at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, the birth place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev,. They extended support to the separatist movement for a Sikh state -Khalistan in India and protested to mark the 36th anniversary of Operation Bluestar. According to sources, prominently among those who were present on the occasion were Pakistan's main Sikh face for such occasions Gopal Singh Chawla, former Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) president Bishan Singh and PSGPC general secretary Amir Singh. Sources said that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had organised the function and ensured its media coverage, besides it had also assigned duties to the officials of Evacuee Trust Property Board (EPTB) to facilitate the anti-India demonstration. In a video uploaded on social media, Chawla and Bishan were seen raising slogans against India and in praise of Khalistan. However, PSGPC president Satwant Singh was not seen during anti-India protests at Nankana Sahib. In an attempt to foment the anti-India sentiments, Chawla and Bishan spewed venom against India, and to win over the sympathy of Islamist militant organisations, they raised the issue of Kashmir too.
According to reports, no Sikhs converged at Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib on the call given by US-based pro-Khalistani group, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ). Sources said that "We have information that attempts are being made to allure poor Paksitani Sikhs with cash rewards for protesting against India. However, none reached Kartarpur Sahib on Saturday morning". The presence of several Sikh youth and some unknown faces during Saturday's protest only confirmed their belief that these were being paid to stage demonstration and raise slogans against India, they claimed.
United Kingdom 07-Jun-2020
A UK-based prominent member of the Sikh Community, Navdeep Singh challenged Akal Takht Jathedar’s recent assertion that "it is ready to accept the sovereign state of Khalistan if the Indian government makes such an offer". Navdeep Singh, in an open letter to Giani Harpreet Singh, the acting Jathedar of Akal Takht asserted that not even one-fourth members of the community favour Khalistan. “We Sikhs have seen much at the time of Partition to know what it does with a nation and its people. There are many of us who’s ancestral homes, their memories of childhood, the place they were born, now lies in Pakistan. We still remember the painful memories of 1947. So, we would never want another such event to happen in our lifetime or with our future generations,” Singh wrote in his letter.
Three Congress MLAs Amrik Singh Dhillon, Surinder Dawar and Kuldeep Singh Vaid reacted strongly to the statements of Akal Takht acting Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Gobind Singh Longowal over Khalistan. The MLAs urged Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal to clarify their stand on the statements.
United States 07-Jun-2020
In their emergency (virtual) meeting held in Fremont, CA, USA, around 55 Sikh Organisations from UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Mexico, condemned Akaal Takht Jathedar Harpreet Singh, who recently made calls of accepting Khalistan in India.
United Kingdom 07-Jun-2020
A few members of the Sikh community marched from the Hyde Park in the British capital to Trafalgar Square to commemorate the anniversary of Operation Blue Star. This year, however, the coronavirus pandemic and its related restrictions prevented a mass gathering. The organisers said they had, therefore, closely liaised with the authorities and agreed on a much smaller event for June 7, with social distancing and everyone's safety in mind.
A day after his controversial statement on Khalistan, the Akal Takht acting Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh said it was the Indian government that forced members of the community to pick arms in 1984. In a message relayed on a web channel, which was recently banned in India for its alleged anti-national content, the Jathedar while referring to the Operation Bluestar said that “picking arms was the last resort for the Sikhs for getting their demands heard by the government”. “We should ascertain as to why the Sikhs picked arms. When India got independence in 1947, the country’s leaders made some promises to the Sikhs such as giving them due respect and rights besides safeguarding their principles and traditions. But then, the Sikhs were tagged as a “criminal community” instead of delivering these promises,” the Jathedar said.
Police arrested a drug peddler, identified as Nihal Singh Wala and recovered 75 kg of poppy from him in Moga district.
Uttar Pradesh (UP), Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested a key arms supplier of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), identified as Javed Khan from Hapur in Hapur district of UP. ATS, which is probing Javed’s supply channel and chains in UP, said that he is also a close aide of Ashish, who is considered to be the right hand of Gugni Grewal aka Harmeet Singh ‘chief’ of KLF and supplier of weapons to the force. Javed’s aide Ashish also has a role in murder of RSS and Shiv Sena workers in 2016. Ashish was arrested by the UP-ATS on February 1, 2020. ATS also said that weapons provided by Javed also led to the killing of top RSS leader retired brigadier Jagdish Kumar Gagneja. In this murder, Javed’s aide Ashish arrested earlier by UP-ATS was also involved. Currently, this case is being worked upon by National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The arrested arms supplier to Khalistani terrorists, Javed was sent to three-day police custody by the Mohali court. Police revealed in court that Javed had delivered around 150 weapons to gangsters in Punjab. The Punjab Police special is yet to recover weapons to identify the network of the accused arms supplier in Punjab. Police also revealed that Javed is the only arms supplier for six states, including Delhi, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, and Jammu & Kashmir. Javed was arrested in Hapur in UP on June 7. According to Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) officials, a number of pro-Khalistan terrorists have been caught in western UP and the Punjab Police was searching Javed for quite some time.
Punjab’s Minister of Jail and Department of Cooperation, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa termed the statement of Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) President Gobind Singh Longowal demanding Khalistan as ‘hidden agenda’ of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). He said that by issuing such statements, both SGPC president and Sukhbir Badal want Bargari like incidents to take place once again, which is not in the interest of Punjab and Punjabis in any way. “Does the SAD support the divisive and even secessionist agenda being pursued by the SGPC President?”, he questioned.
The Indian-origin MP from the ruling Liberal Party of Canada, Ruby Sahota said in the Canadian Parliament that Operation Blue Star, conducted 36 years ago, is one of the darkest times in Sikh history. She said that the attack on the Golden Temple of Amritsar in 1984 has been recorded forever in her memory. She said that the human rights flag was blown off during this operation. "I stand with Sikhs and every community who want justice on violation of their human rights. Before Canada, Sikh MP of Indian origin Tanmanjit Singh Dhesi had also raised the matter in the UK Parliament”, she said.
The executive committee of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) announced to celebrate its centenary on November 15 this year. Its president Gobind Singh Longowal said the functions to mark the centenary will be organised at the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhs, and Manji Sahib in Darbar Sahib, Amritsar.
United Kingdom 09-Jun-2020
According to media reports, Khalistani organizations have not only increased significantly in the UK recently, but they have also emerged as a profitable business venture for those who do not have any other source to earn a living. Most of these organizations have joined hands with umbrella organizations of Federation of Sikh Organizations (FSO), Sikh Council UK (SCUK) or World Sikh Parliament (WSP) to remain in the limelight, report said. Though these organizations may not have the support of most of the Sikh population in the UK, they keep on competing among each other to wrest the control of the management of Gurudwaras in the UK. An officer working in a security establishment said that "It serves them multiple purposes like easy funding in name of sewa and charity, captive audience to listen to their propaganda from the stage, availability of ready-made venues for various meetings and events and the garb of a charitable organization to carry out their ulterior tasks." "Once established, these organizations diversify into media, university unions and politics, to create a larger base for Khalistan cause,” another officer said. "And for the survival of these few individuals and Gurudwaras, the need to keep Khalistan alive is essential for their own benefits. Midland Langar Seva, Sikh2inspire, British Organisation of Sikh Students are few of the benign forms that these tendencies have brought forward and are actively engaged in attracting youth to their perception of Sikh values," the official said.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) demanded resignation of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Gobind Singh Longowal after he was nominated as the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) core committee member. The national executive member of AAP and Talwandi Sabo legislator Baljinder Kaur charged the Akali leadership with using religion for their political gains and said the SAD should be derecognized as a political party.
The YouTube revoked ban on Akaal Channel in India. The channel was blocked in India during the intervening night of June 5-6 after Ravneet Bittu complained about ‘objectionable content’ aired by the channel.
According to reports, a total of 81.84 kg of heroin worth Rs 409.22 crore was seized by law enforcement agencies between March 24, when the lockdown was imposed, and May 31 along the 550-km-long Indo-Pak border in Punjab. Of this, almost 55 kg contraband was recovered in the Ferozepur sector alone during this period.
Canada’s Ontario Superior Court of Justice rejected the principle of universal jurisdiction for online defamation claims by the Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) simply because internet publications may be accessed or downloaded anywhere. The SFJ in its case, alleged that the Republic of India, alongside India-based media organizations such as ANI Media Private Ltd., conducted a smear campaign against the plaintiff as a response to the plaintiff’s referendum for an independent Sikh nation in Punjab, India. On the other hand, the defendant ANI Media moved to dismiss or to permanently stay the action, arguing that the Ontario court neither has jurisdiction over the subject matter nor is the convenient forum for the action.
Police froze assets worth Rs 10 crore of two notorious drug smugglers, including Balwinder Singh alias Billa Havelian, from Tarn Taran district. Assets worth over Rs 8 crore were frozen of Billa in Tarn Taran and Mohali districts. He hails from Havelian village near the India-Pakistan border that has gained notoriety in the past few years for cross-border smuggling of drugs. Billa faces FIRs in 15 cases, including that for drug smuggling from Pakistan and attempt to murder charges, in various districts of Punjab. He has been lodged in a Patiala jail after his arrest in August 2019 with 750-gram heroin.
The Special Operation Cell (SOC) of Punjab Police got five days’ remand of key arms supplier to Khalistani terrorist, Javed. The court sent the arms supplier to police remand till June 16. Tthe SOC pleaded before the court that they need to interrogate Javed on his links with other terrorist groups, and the sources from where he procured arms and ammunition and got the funding. The SOC submitted that it also wants to ascertain his aides in Punjab and other states of the country. Sources said that Javed was wanted in Punjab for his alleged involvement in the supply of arms and ammunition to Dharminder Singh alias Gugni, member of banned Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), who was allegedly involved in the murder of a senior RSS office-bearer of Punjab, Brig Jagdish Kumar Gagneja (retired). The NIA is probing the case. Ashish, an accomplice of Javed, was also arrested earlier. Dharminder Singh is currently lodged in Tihar Jail in New Delhi.
Punjab Police arrested two Jammu and Kashmir based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operatives, Aamir Hussain Wani (26) and Wasim Hassan Wani (27) from the Amritsar-Jammu highway in Pathankot, and foiled a major attempt to smuggle weapons into the Valley for carrying out terror attacks. Ten hand grenades, along with one AK-47 rifle with 2 magazines and 60 live cartridges, were seized from the suspected militants. The duo, actively involved in transporting automatic weapons and hand grenades from Punjab to the Kashmir Valley.
Due to the covid19 pandemic, this year, the Sikh community in Pakistan will quietly mark the death anniversaries of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Guru Arjan Dev. The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) Secretary-General, Sardar Amir Singh said that “Due to the Covid-19 virus, the Sikh community will mark the death anniversaries of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Guru Arjan Dev in the most simple manner.” According to sources, Sikh pilgrims from all over the world, including India, will not be able to take part in the religious ceremonies to mark the important events on the Nanakshahi Calendar this month.
Punjab Police arrested third accomplice of the arrested Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists, identified as Javed Ahmed Bhat (29) while he was trying to flee to Kashmir from Dhobra Bridge in Pathankot. According to Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta, Javed hails from the same village as the other two LeT operatives who were arrested earlier and is their childhood friend. The trio had been doing transport business together for the past over two to three years and had been making trips to Delhi, Amritsar and Jalandhar.
Days after making controversial remarks on Khalistan issue, the acting Jathedar of the Akhal Takht, Giani Harpreet Singh said that the comments he made were misinterpreted. In a statement issued from Talwani Sabo in Bathinda, the Jathedar said, “Many adverse agencies are making attempts to mislead the youth by misinterpreting his meaningful statement. Such adverse forces are doing this for their political benefit by pushing Sikh on the path of terrorism and inciting Sikhs through social media.” He said that those who are spewing venom against Sikhs are followers of same hate politics and terrorism. “In fact, my statement has hurt those who want to define Sikh with false and hateful idea forcibly attached to the political ideology of Khalistan, people want to satisfy their bosses by inciting them on social media. Beware of such people and create a political movement within the democratic structure so that people from all walks of life in the Punjab region can enjoy a state like Sher e Punjab,” Giani Harpreet Singh emphasized. He also added that “Sikhism could not be defined by the idea of Khalistan alone, Sikhism is the global idea and this idea should bring peace to the world.” Meanwhile, the Jathedar also given a call for launching a democratic movement in Punjab to form a polity on the lines of the one formed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh who founded a Sikh kingdom which was annexed by the British in 1849. “As contemporary central governments discriminated against the Sikhs and betrayed them on the promises made before Independence, the sincere community leaders felt alienated and preferred to fight for concept of welfare state as enshrined in the Guru Granth Sahib. This was not a demonstration of spontaneous struggle or violent inclination, but a reaction to the government’s excesses,” he said. “If Punjab has suffered from prolonged agony, genocide of Sikhs carried out by the government on the pretext of eliminating terrorism is mainly responsible for that. No parent wants their children to be killed in fake encounters and termed as terrorists,” he said.
Police arrested two drug smugglers, identified as Davinder Singh and Balwinder Singh and recovered 1.5-kg heroin from their possession at a check point near Secha village in Kapurthala district . However, three of their other accomplices managed to flee in their car.
According to sources, weapons supplied by Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) key arms supplier Javed, who was recently arrested by the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and brought to Mohali, were also used in the killings of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders in Punjab, including Brig Jagdish Kumar Gagneja (retired) in 2016. “The arms supplied by Javed were used in the killings of eight RSS leaders in Punjab, besides Gagneja,” sources said. It also revealed that a Special Investigation Team headed by AIG (counter intelligence) Harkamal Preet Singh Khakh has been set up to probe the case.
Indian intelligence agencies identified more than twenty phone numbers of Khalistan extremists, originating from the US, Pakistan and other destinations, used in spreading audio messages in various districts in Punjab. Sources revealed that maximum calls have originated from numbers bearing US code such as (+1 253 533 71XX, +1 405 835 23XX, +1 833 779 04XX). Most of these numbers are being used by banned extremist outfit Sikhs For Justice (SFJ). A man identified himself as Imran Malik, based in Karachi, called several people in Punjab and Chandigarh, including journalists, and informed them about the secret referendum of Sikhs relating to demand for creating an independent Khalistan state.
Police arrested a drug peddler, identified as Harpreet Singh Happy along with 50g heroin and a pistol of .32 bore with two live cartridges at near Gopala Petrol Pump in Ludhiana district.
Police arrested a Punjab Police Assistant sub-inspector (ASI), Beant Singh and his accomplice, Rajinder Singh with 30-gm heroin at Muktsar in Muktsar district.
The US-based separatist group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) urged Akal Takht acting Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh to perform ‘ardas’ on July 4, when it will begin voter registration for ‘Referendum 2020’ to seek people’s opinion on separate Punjab from rest of India. SFJ has deliberately chosen the date, as it was on this same day in 1955 that police had arrested Sikh leadership demonstrating in support of Punjabi Suba. SFJ’s leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said “SFJ is opening voter registration in Punjab on July 4, 2020, for non-governmental Referendum 2020 and we seek Sri Akal Takht Sahib’s blessings in this endeavour for Sikhs’ rights.” Sikh scholars in India are of the view that acting Jathedar’s and the SGPC president’s comments on Khalistan had given the Sikh separatists an opportunity to “rope in” Sikh religious leadership.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Govind Singh Longowal condemned the killing of a Sikh by a white youth in Colorado, US, and appealed to the Central Government to take concrete steps for the protection of Sikhs living in foreign countries.
The US-based pro-Khalistan group, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) made recorded calls to the people in Punjab in Chinese and English languages, instigating Punjabis to register for its 'Referendum 2020' beginning from July 4. In the phone call, a girl identifies herself as a supporter of SFJ from Beijing and asks the people of Punjab to register themselves for Referendum 2020 both in English and Chinese languages.
Police arrested a woman drug smuggler, Manjit Kaur alias Akki and recovered 1.2 kg of heroin from her near Kannia village in the Daramkot subdivision in Moga district.
Supporters of the pro-Khalistan event - Referendum 2020 - who are lodged in the Ludhiana Central Jail, announced a hunger strike while putting in their demands of a television set, separate cooked food and certain things from outside the jail. The jail inmates who have initiated the strike are Malkit Singh, Sukhraj Singh, Jagdev Singh, Kuldeep Singh, Dharminder Singh and Ravinder Singh. According to authorities, for the time being, the accused are housed in a separate barrack, but they have been told that they will be treated according to the jail manual. The inmates were shifted to Ludhiana from Amritsar jail 15 days ago. They are facing trial under various charges including unlawful activities. The jail officials said the demands put up by the inmates are unrealistic as per the jail manual and cannot be fulfilled.
The Member of Parliament (MP) from Ludhiana, Ravneet Singh Bittu urged Punjab Chief Minister (CM) to file FIRs against singers Diljit Dosanjh and Jazzy Bains and Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh for ‘openly supporting’ Pannun and his organization’s demand for Khalistan. He said the “letter written” by Pannun to China proved that “they empathise with China and condemn India for the violent face-off. The entire nation is still mourning the death of its young soldiers, but these extremists are supporting China to disturb India as well as Punjab’s peace.”
Punjab-origin Sikh MP and the leader of Canada's New Democratic Party (NDP), Jagmeet Singh was temporarily expelled from the House of Commons or the lower chamber of the bicameral Parliament for calling an MP racist and for refusing to apologize and withdraw his comments.
Punjab Police booked pro-Khalistani leader and legal adviser of the banned organization Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), Gurpatwant Singh Pannun for sedition and unlawful activities, instigating youth of Punjab in favour of ‘Referendum 2020’, provoking the secession of Punjab from India and attempt to spread dissatisfaction among the country’s armed forces or abetting mutiny. Pannun has been instigating people of Punjab through pre-recorded audio message (IVR) from different international numbers mainly from the US for last few months. He was booked under Sections 124-A (waging war against India), 131 (abetting mutiny) 153-A (promotion disunity and disharmony) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 10(a), 13(1) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). According to reports, the trigger point for registration of the case took place after Pannun reportedly approached the Chinese government for helping him in his anti-India activities. Also, a number of pre-recorded calls emanating from Pakistan were also received by number of citizens, including advocates, journalists and police officials. Some callers claimed they were calling from China or were Chinese and supported Pannun. Police had earlier also lodged two FIRs against Gurpatwant Singh Pannun for his anti-India activities.
Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said that the calls on behalf of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) from Pakistan proved that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of that country was planning the whole conspiracy. Also, the attempts to involve China, at a time when a bloody clash has taken place between armed forces of both countries, suggests there is a bigger conspiracy against the country through Pannun. “It is highly insensitive that when brave Punjab soldiers had achieved martyrdom fighting Chinese army, Pannun and others were carrying their nefarious designs in causing bloodshed and violence in Punjab. We will never let it happen as Punjabis are living in peace,” said the DGP. He added that it was also unfortunate that the trouble was being created when each resident of the state was fighting against the spread of deadly coronavirus.
Punjab police busted a terror module and arrested two Khalistani terrorists, identified as Gurmeet Singh and Vikram Singh from near an eatery on GT Road at Jandiala in Amritsar district. Police also recovered a MP5 sub-machine gun, a 9-mm pistol with 4 magazines and two mobile phones containing a slew of conversations, messages and photographs from the duo who were preparing to carry out terror attacks at the behest of their Pakistan handlers. The Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said that “The mobile phones revealed suspicious transactions with Pakistan-based elements, including photographs, voice messages as well as the coordinates of a particular location. A large variety of posts and web-links, connected to the formation of Khalistan, was also found on the phone of Gurmeet Singh who had been in touch with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence and anti-Indian elements sponsored by the Pakistan establishment.”
Punjab Cooperation and Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said that Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) leader Pannun is a traitor and should be dealt with hard hands. Randhawa, on Pannun approaching China for getting its support for the separatist agenda, said that “Traitors have no religion. Pannun talks about Khalistan.” “Satnam who was killed by Chinese troops, was an ‘amritdhari’. His wife, son and father are also ‘amritdharis’,” he said. “Pannun should be ashamed of supporting China. The entire country should condemn this and Pannun’s family should be boycotted wherever they reside in country,” the minister said. “Pannun is propagating Khalistan just to gather money from Pakistan, ISI, China and other anti-national forces. He should be brought to India and punished,” added Randhawa.
The Dal Khalsa challenged Ludhiana MP (Member of Parliament) Ravneet Singh Bittu to go ahead with his so-called wish and lodge FIR against Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh for his pro-Khalistan stance and see the consequences.
The Border Security Force (BSF) thwarted an attempt of Pakistani smugglers to push drugs into the Indian territory and recovered four plastic bottles filled with 8 kg heroin in Abohar sector in Fazilka district. According to BSF, the vigilant BSF troops observed movement of mischievous persons ahead of Border Security Fence and challenged them following they fled towards the Pakistani territory.
Six pro-Khalistani supporters who were lodged in Ludhiana Central Jail ended their two-day hunger strike started in an attempt to push jail authorities to give in to their multiple demands. The strike ended after the jail administration allowed some of their genuine demand. However, their other demands including a television set inside jail, special cooked food from outside or grocery and utensils/gas stove to cook their own food and accommodation in common barracks instead of ‘Cell Block’, were rejected.
The police arrested three persons and recovered 445 kg of poppy husk and 4 lakh sedative tablets from a truck near Alamgarh bypass along the Abohar-Sriganganagar highway in Fazilka district.
According to reports, with declining infiltration of terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir due to changed security apparatus after the revocation of Article 370 of Constitution, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) along with Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) and other terrorist groups has adopted a new modus operandi to fuel terror strikes in India. Reports revealed that the ISI is now using drones to deliver arms and ammunition from across the International Border (IB) into the Indian territory.
Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh said that pro-Khalistan group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ)’s leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun was not only propagating but actively involved in promoting separatism and terrorism in India. The CM asserted that he would not allow Pannun to succeed in his divisive agenda and disturb the state's peace at any cost. He challenged the "pro-Khalistani propagandist to come to Punjab instead of hiding out in other countries to spread his vicious campaign".
The Border Security Force (BSF) and police in a joint operation recovered 6.92 kg of heroin from the fields along the Indo-Pakistan border in Ferozepur district.
Punjab police and Border Security Force (BSF), in a joint operation arrested four persons, identified as Rajinder Singh, Gurmit Singh, Rukmandeep Singh and Arshdeep Singh and recovered 7.7-kg heroin along with Rs 2.60 lakh and an SUV in Ferozepur district. The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Bhupinder Singh said that during the investigation, the accused admitted to having links with Pakistan-based smugglers and informed about the consignment they had received from across the border.
Police arrested 11 drug peddlers in 10 different cases registered in the Mansa district. Police has also seized large quantity of drugs and two bikes used in the crime.
Pakistan’s former Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique offended Sikh sentiments by dubbing the great Sikh emperor Maharaja Ranjit Singh as a profligate, dacoit and looter. He also leveled allegations of desecrating and looting mosques on Maharaja Ranjit Singh. “Ranjit Singh Ayash was a dacoit looter ruler who openly desecrated Muslim faith mosques and Sufi shrines, looted heavily and forcibly imposed Sikh beliefs. Established oppressive Dogra rule over Kashmir,” reads the English translation of Khawaja Saad Rafique’s tweet.
Reacting to Khawaja Saad Rafique’s derogatory statement on Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Pakistani Sikh leader Gopal Singh Chawla said that Khawaja Saad Rafique was trying to earn political mileage and hide his failures by leveling baseless allegations on the great Sikh ruler. Chawla, while recalling the tenure of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, said that no one got capital punishment during his four decades-long regime.
The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) president Satwant Singh said that, “The words used by the former railway minister are highly objectionable. The Sikh community in Pakistan and the gurdwara management committee strongly condemn these words.”
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested a key member of a gang allegedly involved in recruiting radical Sikh youths for the outlawed Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) group on directions from foreign handlers in a bid to create unrest in the country. The accused, identified as Pargat Singh (23), a resident of Sri Muktsar Sahib, was produced before a special NIA court in Mohali on June 22 which remanded him to NIA custody until June 29. Singh is one of the key conspirators and recruiter of radical Sikh youths while working under the directions of handlers located abroad to further the activities of SFJ. The case was registered at the Sultanwind police station in Amritsar (City) in 2018 under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). During investigation, sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Arms Act were added, the official said. Punjab Police filed a charge sheet against 11 arrested accused in March 2019, he said.
According to Indian intelligence report, Pakistan is using its diplomatic missions, particularly in London to ‘fund and foment’ anti-India hate campaigns. The role of the Pakistan High Commission in London, primarily of a colonel rank officer of Pakistan Army posted as an advisor there, has come to light, the report reveals. The colonel is assigned the task of re-uniting splinter groups of pro-Khalistan Sikhs, operating from Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and some other countries of Europe. At the behest of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the colonel has been instrumental in funding Khalistan groups, including Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) which has an office in London. Report said that Gurmeet Singh Bagga, based in Germany's Hamburg, has links with Khalistani militants operating from Britain and the US including Gurpatwant Singh Pannun of SFJ. The colonel, who works under a senior official of Pakistan Navy posted at High Commission, has been a key person in organizing several anti-India protests at the Indian High Commission office in London. ISI-backed Khalistani groups have attacked several Indians outside the Indian High Commission office, near Bush House in London in March 2019. Later it was found that SFJ organized the attack with help of the Overseas Pakistani Welfare Council, backed by the ISI and the Pakistan High Commission. Pannun and his close aides have been frequent visitors to the Pakistan High Commission, located at Lowndes Square.
Shiromani Khalsa Dal’s president Swarn Singh Khalsa said that Pakistani former railway minister Khwaja Saad Rafique was misleading Muslim community of Pakistani Punjab by leveling baseless allegations of desecrating and looting mosques on Maharaja Ranjit Singh. “The greatness of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s regime is evident in world’s history of that era,” he said. He also said that Khawaja Saad Rafique should immediately tender apology for making attempts to malign image of the world’s best ruler.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Gobind Singh Longowal condemned the abduction of Afghan Sikh Nidhan Singh Sachdeva from the Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan and pointed out that Sikhs in Afghanistan were subjected to harassment. He urged the Centre to intervene to ensure the safety of the Sikh community in Afghanistan.
During the interrogation of arrested Khalistani operative Gurmeet Singh and his accomplice Vikram Singh, it came to light that Pakistan-based agencies and anti-national elements were spotting ‘talents’ on social media platforms for carrying out terror attacks and targeted killings in Punjab. They were targeting the youth who are economically weaker and have inclination towards ‘separatism’. They also target youth such as gangsters for the purpose, said official. Sources also said that Gurmeet Singh was a drug addict and was involved in the trafficking of opium from Rajasthan though there was no FIR against him.
The leading Punjabi actor-singer Diljit Dosanjh said in a reply to Ludhiana Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu’s demand for an FIR against him and another singer Jazzy B, that he has always stood by the country and Punjab. “I am an Indian taxpayer who has always stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the country and Punjab in time of need,” said Dosanjh. Earlier, Bittu accused both singers of inciting youngsters to take up arms and fight for a separate Sikh state of Khalistan, prompting Dosanjh to upload a video on his Twitter handle and come out in defence of his song, Rangroot, from his 2014 film, Punjab 1984, a clip of which was shared on social media recently. However, Dosanjh said that the movie was screened in Punjab only after the censor board’s go-ahead. “The film was given a national award by the Indian government.
The key conspirator behind recruiting youth for the banned Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), Pargat Singh (23), who was arrested recently, was produced in a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mohali which remanded him to NIA custody till June 29. According to NIA, the case was related to a series of acts of violence, including arson, in Punjab during 2017-18, carrying out of propaganda activities online and on ground, and organising campaigns in support of ‘Referendum-2020’.
Counter Intelligence Department and Border Security Force (BSF) arrested a man, identified Kashmir Singh alias Sheera, having links with Pakistan-based smugglers and recovered 4.16-kg heroin from Gatti Rajo Ke village in Firozepur District.
Police arrested two drug peddlers and seized 24,000 narcotic pills in Sri Muktsar Sahib district.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) court rejected the bail application of British national Jagtar Singh Jaggi alias Jaggi Johal, an accused in the attack on Hindu leader Amit Arora, in view of serious allegations against him.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhik Committee (SGPC) marked the 305th martyrdom day of the great Sikh general Baba Banda Singh Bahadur.
According to reports, the recent investigations into the terror module that was busted with the arrest of two alleged Khalistani operatives on June 19 have revealed that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is eyeing ‘vulnerable’ youths of Punjab to create trouble in Punjab. Gurmeet Singh and his aide Vikram Singh of Amritsar were arrested when they were trying to clear a weapon consignment that was pushed in from Pakistan by their handlers. Police had seized a German-made MP5 sub-machine gun, a 9mm pistol with 4 magazines, and two mobile phones with a host of incriminatory conversations, messages, photographs etc. “Gurmeet, who is an opium addict, had gone to Pakistan as part of a Sikh jatha in 2017 on the occasion of Baisakhi. He was contacted by ISI sleuths in Pakistan through a Khalistani supporter and was brain-washed to take part in terror activities. He had been in contact with the ISI sleuths through social media platforms. His handlers were yet to give him the target,” said a police official. He said, “Some Khalistani supporters in Pakistan are helping the ISI in targeting Punjab’s youth, especially those with humble background. We are very close to identifying the Khalistani supporters. We have also identified some more members of the module in Punjab.”
The Afghan Taliban said that it was not involved in the kidnapping of a leader of the Sikh community who was abducted by unknown persons in Paktia province of Afghanistan and his abductors would face justice from the group.
Nankana Sahib Sikh girl Jagjit Kaur alias Ayesha Bibi’s statement couldn’t be recorded in the Lahore high court once again after the couple reportedly requested to transfer their case to another judge.
According to reports, Khalistan terrorist Gurmeet Singh Bagga wanted to go to Pakistan via Kartarpur corridor on this Baisakhi to meet his boss. But, due to lockdown he couldn’t succeed in his plans. It is being told that the Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) had arranged all this conspiracy for terrorist Gurmeet Singh. Gurmeet Singh Bagga, a hidden Khalistani terrorist in Germany had previously come out to threaten the Punjab Police. Bagga had been plotting terrorism from Germany to Punjab, got uprooted after the arrest of his younger brother Gurdev Singh alias Priety. Investigation revealed that in 2018 Khalistani terrorist Gurmeet Singh went to Pakistan with Sikh group. Gurmeet met his masters after that Security agencies were investigating the matter of who had assisted in sending his name to Pakistan along with the Sikh religious group. The investigation also includes an aspect of how the terrorist Gurmeet Singh met the Khalistani terrorists living in Pakistan apart from the Sikh group.
The Special Task Force (STF) arrested four persons including a drug smuggler brother duo and their wives along with 3.2 kg heroin, Rs 60,000 in cash drug money, a .32 ore pistol with four magazines and 14 live cartridges near Ishar Nagar area in Ludhiana district. The arrested accused were identified as Raj Kumar his wife Anjali, Arun Kumar, his wife Harpreet Kaur. They hail from Kapurthala however now are settled in Ludhiana. According to officials, the accused have made lots of property using drug money.
The Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta, on International Day against Drug Abuse and Illegal Trafficking, said that the fight against drugs is an uphill task in the wake of border fencing losing its significance to new methods of drug delivery, easy bail and operations being controlled from jails.
The wife of a Sikh man abducted in Afghanistan asked for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to have her husband freed and then granting Indian citizenship to her family of six. Attacks on Sikh minorities in Afghanistan have increased ever since India cast its lot with the Kabul regime in the ongoing peace talks with the Taliban. Another threat to the minorities has been the rise of an Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)-affiliated terrorist outfit. Security analysts believed it was behind the Gurudwara Har Rai Sahib massacre in Kabul to announce its presence.
Punjab Police , in a symbolic gesture to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, destroyed several quintals of illicit drugs at various places across all 24 districts. The Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said teams of Punjab Police took over the task of destroying 62.140 kg of heroin, along with 326.52 quintals of poppy husk, 12.536 kg of charas, 490 grams of sulfa, 755.905 kg of smack, 1.970 kg of brown sugar and 148 kg of intoxicant powder. In addition, 41.880 kg of opium was deposited in Government Opium and Alkaloid Factory, said Gupta. He reiterated that the department's commitment to eliminate drugs from Punjab, which has seen a marked increase in the number of drug users joining the state government's de-addiction programme since the imposition of curfew and lockdown in Punjab.
The State Health and Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu while addressing a state-level function on International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking at a drug de-addiction centre in Mohali said that the onus lies on each of us to protect our youth from falling into the trap of drugs. Healthy youth can play a vital role in creating a better and drug-free society. He said, “It is reassuring for us that the new generation is becoming aware of the ill-effects of drugs use. The number of drug addicts in the state has come down drastically. However, the new generation must be stopped from going the wrong way”.
Police arrested six people and recovered four kilograms of heroin from their possession in two separate cases in Ludhiana in Ludhiana district. The Assistant Inspector General (AIG), Special Task Force (STF), Snehdeep Sharma said that "All arrested members are from the same gang. Two of them are brothers, they can be called big fishes as their network was very vast".
Indian Government sources snubbed and rejected an offer by Pakistan to reopen the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor for Indian pilgrims on June 29 on the death anniversary of the 19th century Emperor of the Sikh Kingdom Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It said that “Pakistan is trying to create a mirage of goodwill” but has proposed this at the very short notice of just two days. Sources said there should be at least seven days of advance notice as per the pact between the two nations due to preparations that need to be done for the registration process.
Police arrested two drug smugglers, identified as Sooraj Singh and Jaswinder Singh and recovered 22,500 intoxicating pills from them in Moga city in Moga district.
The Delhi Police busted a module of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) and arrested its three sympathizers who were allegedly planning to execute target killings and extortions in various north Indian states on the directions of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)-sponsored Khalistani leaders. The three men, identified as Mohinder Pal Singh (29), Gurtej Singh (41) and Lovepreet Singh (21) were arrested from Delhi, Punjab and Haryana in separate operations by the Delhi Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), special cell, in the last 10 days. According to Police, three pistols and seven cartridges, three smartphones, including an iPhone, containing many incriminating videos and photographs related to Khalistani movement and their propagators were seized from the arrested persons. Deputy Commissioner of Police (special cell) Sanjeev Kumar Yadav said that at least four persons were on the target list of the arrested men but they could not execute the killings because of the lockdown announced in the country to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). DCP Yadav said that Gurtej, the son of a subedar in the Indian Army, was in touch with an ISI handler, Abdullah, apart from having contacts with Avtar Singh Pannu of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) and Gopal Singh Chawla, who is based in Pakistan and is a close aide of Hafiz Saeed, co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). “Abdullah had asked Gurtej to recruits like-minded people and send them to Pakistan for terrorist training. Gurtej recruited five men, including Lovepreet, who has been arrested along with him. He was also planning to extort Rs 10 lakh from two businessmen for arranging more weapons and logistics,” the DCP said. The DCP said that Mohinder originally belongs to Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir but had moved to Delhi in 2007 for studies. In 2013, he began developing orientation towards Khalistan movement and started attending Delhi court hearings of Jagrat Singh Hawara, a Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) militant convicted for assassinating former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh. He came in touch with other sympathizers of the KLF and started working for the outfit, said Yadav. During interrogation, DCP said, Lovepreet, who worked at a computer repair shop, revealed that he developed an inclination towards Khalistan movement three-four years ago and was recruited by Gurtej, who promised to send him to Pakistan for weapon training.
According to sources, around 20 months after the Amritsar police booked Pargat Singh (23) in a sedition case for his alleged links with outlawed Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) radical outfit, the National Investigation Agency (NIA)’s move to arrest him has brought the focus on 18 others named in the same 2018 sedition case. However, no police action was initiated against these 18 after the FIR was lodged in 2018. They are now believed to be on NIA’s radar after Pargat’s arrest, who is alleged to be the key recruiter of radical Sikh youths for SFJ. While Punjab Police had booked 30 accused in original case, it had submitted challan only against 11 at an Amritsar court in March 2019, keeping 19, including Pargat Singh and banned outfit SFJ’s Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, out of it. NIA told Mohali court earlier this week that Pargat Singh, a Sikh priest from village Tarmala in district Sri Muktsar Sahib, was one of the key conspirators and recruiter of radical Sikh youth while working under the directions of handlers located abroad to further the activities of SFJ which has already been declared an unlawful association. The original case was registered at Sultanwind Police Station, Amritsar (City) vide FIR No 152 dated October 19, 2018. The case was subsequently re-registered by NIA on April 5, 2020.
Pakistan decided to reopen Kartarpur Corridor for all the Sikh pilgrims on June 29, 2020, on the occasion of the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, announced by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Twitter on June 27. He underscored that Pakistan is conveying to the Indian side its readiness to reopen the corridor. The corridor was temporarily closed on March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure that necessary precautions are taken, Pakistan has invited India to discuss standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the reopening.
Intelligence agencies warned the government of pro-Khalistan activities in the country backed by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the banned Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) outfit. According to sources, the warning mentions that these anti-India activities are being guided by one ISI handler named Abdullah in close coordination with SFJ’s founder Avtar Singh Pannu, who is learnt to have been residing in the United Kingdom (UK). Abdullah’s name was also revealed during questioning of three arrested suspected sympathisers of the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), who were planning to execute targeted killings in various northern states. The KLF supporters were arrested by the special cell of Delhi Police in a week-long operation across Delhi, Punjab and Haryana. Intelligence agencies have also shared inputs about another person named Pak-based Gopal Singh Chawla, a close aide of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Hafiz Saeed, for his role in pro-Khalistan activities in India. It has been suggested in the warning, which was shared earlier this month, to keep the national capital on high alert ahead of Independence Day. Inputs were shared that KLF group has been tasked by ISI and SFJ for terrorist activity in the national capital, said the source.
Punjab police foiled a terror module and arrested three members of the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), identified as Sukhchain Singh of Patiala, Amritpal Singh of Mansa and Jaspreet Singh of Majitha in Punjab. One .32 bore pistol, along with 7 cartridges, were also recovered from the alleged terrorists. The Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said that the terror module was operating in various parts of Punjab at the behest of pro-Khalistani elements based in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UK.
The Director General of Police (DGP) of Haryana, Manoj Yadava said that the state police will take appropriate action against banned outfit Sikhs For Justice (SFJ)’s Gurpatwant Singh Pannun for making automated phone calls and instigating people. He said “As per initial investigations, It appeared that US-based Pannu had made automated telephonic calls to people of the state claiming Haryana people they have always stood against the interest of Punjab and Sikhs.” “This person intentionally tries to spread mischievous and unsubstantiated information, disturb the peace and brotherhood among the people of both the states. Any attempt by him to disturb the peace would not be tolerated,” Yadava said.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh dismissed a recent statement of Akal Takht Jathedar that the Sikh community will accept Khalistan if the government offers it. He said “Sikhs living in the country are leading prosperous lives. Why would they want a Khalistan? Nobody wants it and I do not want it.” Singh said every Sikh always stood for the unity and integrity of the country.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said that he is for the reopening of the Kartarpur corridor with adherence to the physical distancing norms amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He, however, said that the Indian government could not be ready for reopening the corridor in a short time.
Pakistan reopened the Kartarpur Corridor more than three months after it was temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but no Indian pilgrim visited the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. "Pakistan today opened the Kartarpur Corridor. However, no Indian pilgrim visited it,” Evacuee Trust Property Board Deputy (ETPB) Director Imran Khan said.
United Kingdom 29-Jun-2020
The Sikh Federation UK (SFUK) is celebrating a ‘victory’ in its campaign to get a Sikh ethnic tick-box added to the 2021 UK census after Scottish ministers agreed to put a prompt for Sikhs in the ‘other’ part of the ethnicity response options. They also assured to ‘monitor Sikhs as an ethnic group as well as religion’ going forwards.
The two Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) members, who were arrested by the special cell of the Delhi police on June 27, revealed that senior politicians of Uttar Pradesh (UP) are on the hit list of KLF. During interrogation, the KLF members told the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) team that they had set up a training camp in western Uttar Pradesh. They also admitted to have prepared a list of political leaders of UP who were on their cross hairs. Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), UP ATS, Dhruva Kant Thakur said that “some of the leaders of the state were on their list.” The KLF members told the ATS that they were engaging youths in western UP at the behest of ISI handlers.
Akal Takht’s officiating Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh directed the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to pursue cases of Sikh youths who were arrested by the Punjab Police recently in connection with Khalistan. The Jathedar condemned the police for allegedly implicating Sikh youths on the false pretext of supporting Khalistan. “If Sikh youths are arrested on frivolous charges in the name of Khalistan, it is condemnable. The SGPC should pursue cases of innocent Sikh youths,” he said.
The Dal Khalsa, while replying Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s remarks that no Sikh wants Khalistan, said that a person who denounces such aspirations can’t be a true Sikh. Questioning the locus standi of CM Amarinder Singh in rejecting the historic aspirations for Khalistan, the Dal Khalsa asserted that only the institution of Akal Takht has the right to articulate the collective aspirations of Sikhs that are translated by its Jathedar as the spokesman of this supreme religio-political authority. Dal Khalsa’s spokesman Kanwar Pal Singh said that the CM can only speak in an individual capacity and not on behalf of the Sikh community as a whole.
Border Security Force (BSF) recovered 11.23 kg heroin near Shameke border outpost in Ferozepur sector in Ferozepur district. According to sources, the BSF personnel noticed movement of some suspects ahead of fencing along the zero line. The troops challenged smugglers, however, they managed to escape.
Government of India declared nine individuals, including pro-Khalistani leader and the key member of banned outfit Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), Gurpatwant Singh Pannun as terrorists under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UAPA]. Pannun, who organized the Khalistan 2020 referendum, has been seen actively running a campaign against India and motivating Sikh youngsters in his home state of Punjab to join militancy. The others who have been designated by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) as individual terrorists under the UAPA include Paramjit Singh (Babbar Khalsa International), Hardeep Singh Nijjar (Khalistan Tiger Force), Gurmit Singh Bagga (Khalistan Zindabad Force), Wadhawa Singh Babbar (Babbar Khalsa International), Lakhbir Singh (International Sikh Youth Federation), Ranjeet Singh (Khalistan Zindabad Force), Paramjit Singh (Khalistan Commando Force), Bhupinder Singh Bhinda (Khalistan Zindabad Force). Following an amendment in the UAPA recently, the UMHA declared a total of 13 persons as individual terrorists till date. In an official statement the U said, “These individuals are involved in various acts of terrorism from across the border and from foreign soil. They have been relentless in their nefarious efforts of destabilising the country, by trying to revive militancy in Punjab through their anti-national activities and through their support to and involvement in the Khalistan Movement.”
The Akal Takht officiating Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Gobind Singh Longowal asked the Central Government to reopen the corridor, which has been closed in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. Pakistan recently opened its portion of Kartarpur corridor. Giani Harpreet Singh, on the occasion of the foundation day of Akal Takht, said both India and Pakistan should form a consensus to facilitate devotees to pay obeisance at Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara.
The 414th establishment anniversary of supreme Sikh throne Sri Akal Takht Sahib was celebrated ardently by the Sikh sangat at Sri Akal Takht Sahib’s premises. A religious program was held on this occasion in which a Hazoori Raagi Jatha performed Gurbani Kirtan following the culmination of Sri Akhand Path Sahib.
Two drug peddlers, identified as Inderpal Singh of Pilibhit (Uttar Pradesh), and Jaswinder Singh Bajwa of Udham Singh Nagar (Uttarakhand) were arrested along with 1 kg opium from near Alaur village in Khanna in Ludhiana district
A day after he was designated as a terrorist under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Sikh For Justice (SFJ) leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun released a video statement on YouTube, saying that he was not a terrorist. He said in the video that, “Indian government has designated me and many other pro-Khalistan Referendum 2020 activists and campaigners as terrorists. I want to tell the world that we are not terrorists. A terrorist is the one who kills civilians and common people with bombs and guns. It is the Indian government that is unleashing terrorism against Sikhs, Kashmiris, dalits and other minorities.” He said the Indian government is afraid of their “legal activities” which challenge its hegemony and terrorism. “That is why India labels Referendum 2020 campaign as 'terrorism'. We will dismantle the Indian system that has committed the genocide of Sikhs. We will root out that Indian system which attacked the Akal Takht Sahib. We will erase that Indian system which raped our women and made a 'widow colony',” he stated.
Punjab Police registered two separate FIRs, in Amritsar and Kapurthala, against Gurpatwant Singh Pannun of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) and his associates, including an active SFJ member, Joginder Singh Gujjar, who reportedly came to India from Italy in February this year. The Dalit Suraksha Sena (DSS) had filed a complaint against Gurpatwant Pannun and his associates, and got a case (FIR 168) registered against him at police station B/Division, Police Commissionerate Amritsar for burning the Indian Constitution and Indian national flag, and instigating others to do so too, which had hurt the sentiments of the entire SC community in the country. The second FIR, registered at PS Bhulath, district Kapurthala, is based on reliable inputs of entry of Joginder Singh Gujjar alias Goga in India in February 2020, a police spokesperson said, adding that Pannun and his associates have been charged with seditious and secessionist activities in the case.
The Gurugram (Haryana) police booked the chief of banned outfit Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, on charges of sedition for allegedly indulging in unlawful activity by “openly supporting the secession of Punjab from the Union of India by inciting the Sikhs and in activities aimed at threatening the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of India and inciting ill-will and hatred against people of Haryana.” The Gurugram police also invoked the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against Pannun. In the FIR, the complainant stated that he received information from a “secret source” that a pre-recorded audio-video message had been circulating on social media, in which Pannun, who identified himself as General Counsel of SFJ, allegedly blamed the Government of Haryana and the people of Haryana for “being inimical to the interests of Sikhs and Punjabis.”
Police recovered 5.66 kg of heroin near the Zero Line in Khemkaran in Tarn Taran district. The Deputy Superintendent of Police (Investigations), Kamaljit Singh Aulakh, said the police personnel acted on a tip-off and confiscated three plastic bottles buried under the soil near the BSF pillar no. 160-161.
The Punjab and Haryana high court asked the states of Punjab, Haryana and the Union government to take necessary action against banned organization Sikh For Justice (SFJ)’s bid to provoke public sentiment. The division bench of chief justice Ravi Shanker Jha and justice Arun Palli passed the order while disposing of a petition filed in public interest seeking directions for taking steps against SFJ. During the hearing, the counsel for Punjab government informed that SFJ was banned by the state in July 2019 only and its legal adviser Gurpatwant Singh Pannun was also declared a designated terrorist by the government of India on July 1. The court was also informed that 116 WhatsApp groups relating to the organisation have been blocked and further steps in this regard are being taken. Further, the counsel said, as many as 16 FIRs have been registered against the organisation and further details regarding the steps being taken by the government cannot be shared for security reasons.
Family of Sukhchain Singh (26), a Dalit Sikh, who was recently arrested under the Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act (UAPA) by the Punjab Police, has demanded an independent probe into the case alleging he was implicated in a false case and kept in illegal custody. The family claimed that police had picked up Sukhchain from his house on June 26 in the presence of sarpanch village but shown his arrest from a bus stop at Kauli village of Rajpura in Patiala. They alleged that police had even wrongly shown recovery of a weapon and cartridges from Sukhchain and kept him in illegal custody for two days before registering a case.
The Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) arrested two drug smugglers, identified as Sarabjit Singh and Varun Kumar and recovered 1 kg of heroin and drugs money of Rs 7.20 Lac from them in Phagwara in Kapurthala district.
The legal advisor of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), Gurpatwant Singh Pannun is now making ‘new worded’ recorded calls to people, including journalists in Punjab. In the nearly two-minute voice call made from a US number, Pannun made claims of “dismantling” the Indian system. Ahead of the beginning of the registration process for “Referendum 2020” from July 4, police have strengthened and alerted the intelligence network to look for the remnant support system of SFJ.
As US-based banned outfit Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) has declared July 4 as the inaugural day for registration of referendum on Khalistan, Punjab Police stepped up vigil in and around Golden Temple at Amritsar. According to official source, Centre has issued directions to the security agencies to keep a close eye on the Golden Temple premises in the wake of the call given by the SFJ headed by lawyer Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who is among the nine people declared terrorist by the Union government under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) on July 1.
The Dal Khalsa and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) condemned the Indian Government’s move in branding nine Sikhs associated with Khalistan struggle as terrorists and asked the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) to rectify its error. In a joint press conference in Patiala, Dal Khalsa president HS Cheema and Shiromani Akali Dal-Amritsar (SAD-Amritsar) general secretary Mohinderpal Singh termed the govt’s move an attempt to paint the image of Sikh Nation worldwide with “terrorism” brush, which is totally unacceptable and intolerable.
Dalit organizations based in Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Sangrur and other districts in Punjab staged protests against Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun for his anti-Dalit action of burning a copy of the Constitution and insulting Dr BR Ambedkar. The organizations which took part in the protests included the Bharatiya Valmiki Mahasabha, Patiala, Bhawadas Sanstha, Bhim Army, Dalit Bhalai Sangathan and Bharatiya Valmiki Samaj, Sangrur.
No representative of the Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) visited Akal Takht to perform the ardas before the beginning of online voter registration for ‘Refrendum-2020’. The Punjab Police have blocked 17 web portals so far which were being used for spreading the “anti-India” campaign of the SFJ.
Heavy security arrangements were made around the Golden Temple in Amritsar due to apprehension of pro-Khalistani group, Sikh For Justice (SFJ) trying to start their voters’ registration for its Khalistani ‘Referendum 2020’ campaign. Police vehicles in large numbers and policemen in plain clothes were seen in the Golden Plaza, from where they kept a watch to foil any anti-national activity. Security sources said that the arrangements were made in view of possibility of some disillusioned SFJ supporters gathering and creating ruckus or making an attempt to begin the voter registration process to attract media attention.
Sikh For Justice (SFJ) launched its ‘referendum’ voter registration in Punjab through a Russian portal. It appealed to the people in Punjab aged 18 or above from any religion, as well as Sikhs living anywhere else in India to register their votes. Detailed information regarding the registration process was put up in English and Punjabi languages on the Russia-based website - www.punjabfree.ru, which mentions three steps for registration of votes and the sign-up to receive updates about the ‘Referendum 2020’. Meanwhile, the Indian government has since been in touch with the authorities concerned as to how the SFJ used Russian cyberspace to launch the voter registration for Referendum 2020.
The Government of India blocked 40 websites of pro-Khalistan group, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) and foiled its campaign of registering supporters for its cause. The websites were blocked on the recommendation of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA). "Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), an unlawful organisation under the UAPA,1967, launched a campaign for registering supporters for its cause. On recommendation of MHA, MEITY has issued orders under Sec. 69 A of the I.T. Act, 2000, for blocking 40 websites of SFJ," a UMHA spokesperson said. The SFJ was registering supporters for 'Referendum 2020' to demand Khalistan, which seeks a separate homeland for the Sikhs. It had launched its voter registration in Punjab through a Russian portal. The SFJ chose July 4 to launch the campaign in memory of Sikhs killed during the 1955 attack at Darbar Sahib.
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed against Twitter India Pvt. Ltd. and others by petitioner, Gopal Jhaveri before the Bombay High Court with the prayer to direct the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take action against Twitter under various penal provisions of the law. According to the petition, Twitter accepted blood money to promote Khalistan supporting tweets and is still promoting it knowingly. It is a well-known fact that the Khalistan is a banned terror organisation even though they have blindly supported terror organisations to promote anti national agenda and therefore the authorized representative and all the persons involved in this activity shall be punished by Indian judiciary to set an example to those who are still having a goal to divide India and actively supporting banned terror organisations. The Chief Justice of Bombay High Court in his order dated June 5 directed Twitter and their advocate to file their reply within three weeks, the reply is still pending.
Bholath MLA and former Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira came out in support of Joginder Singh Gujjar alias Goga, days after he was booked and arrested by the Punjab Police on charges of sedition and waging war against India. In a letter to Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh, Khaira said, “The truth is that this man living in Italy for the past 18 years is 65 years of age, illiterate and a heart patient with no criminal record throughout his life. The village panchayat, elders and his family have approached me for justice and have vehemently vouched for his innocence”. Earlier Punjab Police on July 2 had booked Gujjar, whom it said is a prominent and active member of the banned Sikh for Justice (SFJ) in a case under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
According to dossier prepared by Indian Security agencies, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) have turned several chiefs of Khalistani terror groups into drug smugglers and Germany is being developed as a base for Khalistan operations by ISI. ISI is using Khalistani terrorists to smuggle narcotics and provide funds to various terror groups for anti-India activities. The dossier reveals that ISI sinister plan to use pro-Khalistani elements based in Pakistan, Germany, UK, Canada and US for promoting terror and terror ideology by luring the youth and spreading hatred against India.
Political parties in Punjab demanded stern action of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) against Gurpatwant Singh Pannun of the Sikhs For Justice (SFJ). Sunil Jakhar, president, PPCC, said, “Intelligence reports had indicated that the SFJ was backed by Pakistan-based ISI. He said terrorism has to be fought jointly.” SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said, “Referendum 2020 was just a drama by those who hate India.” Ashwani Kumar, president of the BJP’s state unit, said, “Pannu is irrelevant not only in Punjab, but also in Canada”. Leader of Opposition Harpal Cheema said, “The state government failed to curb the SFJ’s activity. The government should have approached the TRAI and got the calls blocked that urged people to respond.”
Security Forces recovered 7.14 kg heroin worth Rs 35 crore near BOP Dona Telu Mall in Ferozepur sector in Ferozepur district. A pistol, two magazines, 10 live rounds and two Pakistani SIM cards were also seized from the fields of accused, identified Bittu, who allegedly has links with the Pakistan-based smugglers. However, he was not arrested.
The district anti-narcotic cell arrested three persons, Amrik Singh, his wife Harpal Kaur, and Sarbjit Singh and seized 1.4 kg of heroin from them at Joliyan village in Sangrur district.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court High Court dismissed the bail plea of an accused, identified as Makit Singh alias Sher Singh alias Shera in the Tarn Taran blast case in which two persons died last year. The case was probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which found that Shera was “in contact” with other accused persons; was an active member of a pro Khalistan group and conspired with the co-accused to carry out the terror attack.
Akal Takht acting Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh said that Sikhs were being harassed for minor offences such as sharing posts on social media while the ones who were accused of bomb blasts have reached parliament. He said, “It seems that the Sikhs are being eliminated from India gradually just like what was done to the followers of Buddhism. For the last few days, Sikh youths have been tortured and harassed mentally in police stations. When asked about the reason behind, the cops said their mobile phones are being examined. They say these persons have shared posts on the social media.”
Pro-Khalistan outfit Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), the organisation continues to reach out to Indians, particularly opinion-makers like journalists and lawyers, with pre-recorded, international calls to push its secessionist agenda and propagate its notorious Sikh Referendum 2020 campaign. Many journalists in Delhi have lately been receiving pesky calls originating mostly from numbers in the US, seeking their support for SFJ's Khalistan cause and Referendum 2020, under which popular vote is being solicited in support of Punjab’s secession from India. The messages that are played out every time you accept the international call - that may show Michigan or Georgia or any other location in the US as the point of origin of the call - contain anti-India statements and invoke radical Sikh feelings to push their 'Khalistan' agenda.
More than a year after upping the ante against the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa is set to announce a new political outfit. According to sources, the party is likely to be named ‘Shiromani Panthik Dal’.
The Special Task Force (STF) arrested two sisters, identified as Kiran and Suman along with 1.2 kilograms of heroin in Ludhiana in Ludhiana district. A preliminary investigation revealed that both of their husbands are currently lodged in a jail for offenses committed under narcotics act.
Canada decided to keep two Khalistani extremists on its no-fly list. One of them, Bhaghat Singh Brar, is accused of working with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to plan an attack in India that was disrupted in 2017. Brar was stopped from boarding a flight at Vancouver International Airport on April 24, 2018, when he was told that he was on Canada's no-fly list. Parvkar Singh Dulai, his business partner, was also stopped from boarding a Toronto bound flight on May 17, 2018, when WestJet refused to let him board for the same reason. Two years later, both Brar and Dulai are still fighting to get off the no-fly list, but documents obtained by Global News alleges that they are terrorism "facilitators." According to a secret case brief report, the Canadian Intelligence Service believe that Brar is a Canada-based Khalistani extremist who has been engaged in terrorist related activities, particularly in fundraising in support of terrorist attacks overseas. The documents suggest that Brar was also involved in "promoting extremism, including the radicalisation of the youth, with the aim of achieving Khalistan independence; and attack planning and facilitation, including weapons procurement, to conduct attacks in India". Brar travelled to Pakistan in 2018, and while returning to Canada, he tried to board a flight in Vancouver but was denied boarding. The Indian government has long complained that Canada is a base for Khalistani extremists. On February 23, 2018, the national security advisers of Canada and India had signed a cooperation framework.
Punjab Police questioned Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) member Karnail Singh Panjoli for his Facebook post related to Sikh For Justice (SFJ). He said that “I had written nothing wrong in the post. I had objected to the Indian government declaring Gurpatwant Singh Pannun a terrorist. He hasn’t committed any terror activity. If he wants to hold Referendum peacefully then he should be allowed because it would clear his doubts about Punjab and Sikhs.” He also added that “Sikhs will not accept anyone like Pannun — who is clean-shaven and doesn’t even wear turban — as their leader. But he can’t be declared terrorist for using democratic means to pursue his agenda. It would have worked better if the government of India hadn’t taken notice of Pannu because then very few people would know of him.”
The Khalsa League constituted a panel of lawyers to look after the legal proceedings of the cases of recently arrested Sikh youths by the Punjab police. Khalsa League’s head Amrik Singh Ballowal said that a panel of lawyers has been constituted under the leadership of Advocate Abhishek Gill. “This panel will follow up the legal proceedings of all the Sikh youths arrested by the Punjab police using provisions of draconian laws like UAPA,” he added.
Controversial Hindu leader Sudhir Suri was booked by the rural police for allegedly hurting the sentiments of Sikh community. Complainant Balbir Singh Muchhal, a resident of Muchhal village, stated to the police that Suri along with Hardeep Sharma had used derogatory remarks against people belonging to the Sikh community.
The monthly magazine of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has stated in its recent editorial that the increase in suppression of Sikhs in the country will lead to intensification of demand for independent territory among them. Written by its editor Satwinder Singh Phoolpur, the editorial appeared in the July 2020 edition of the magazine titled Gurmat Parkash. It raises the issue of confiscation of farmland of scores of Sikh farmers living in Uttar Pardesh by Yogi Adityanath-led state government.
The monthly magazine of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has stated in its recent editorial that the increase in suppression of Sikhs in the country will lead to intensification of demand for independent territory among them. Written by its editor Satwinder Singh Phoolpur, the editorial appeared in the July 2020 edition of the magazine titled Gurmat Parkash. It raises the issue of confiscation of farmland of scores of Sikh farmers living in Uttar Pardesh by Yogi Adityanath-led state government.
According to latest report, a case relating to two Canadian Sikhs being placed on a no-fly list in the country has now been linked to an alleged Pakistan-based plot to use pro-Khalistan elements to conduct terrorist acts in India. The details emerged as two men — Bhagat Singh Brar and his business partner Parvkar Singh Dulai — challenged being blocked from travelling by air. According to the report from Stewart Bell in the Canadian outlet Global News, Brar was “promoting extremism, including the radicalisation of youth, with the aim of achieving Khalistan independence; and attack planning and facilitation, including weapons procurement, to conduct attacks in India,” as per supporting case documents filed by Canadian security agencies, including Public Safety Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the country’s spy agency. Dulai was described as a “facilitator of terrorist-related activities and has shown an ongoing pattern of involvement within the Khalistani extremist milieu”. The report said that Brar visited Pakistan in 2015 and collaborated with one Gurjeet Singh Cheema to plan an attack in India. These documents alleged that Brar collected donations for gurdwaras and “is suspected to have been diverting major part of the funds for anti-India activities”. He was also linked to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Dulai has been described as a very vocal supporter of Khalistan. Brar again visited Pakistan in 2018 to meet his father who happens to be Lakhbir Singh Rode, nephew of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and founder of the banned International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF). However, none of these allegations have been proven in any court nor have either Brar or Dulai been charged with terrorism. Both have also denied the allegations contained in the Canadian security documents in filings made by their lawyers in this case.
Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in an audio message claimed to organise an event related to the secessionist movement ‘Referendum 2020’ at Gurudwara Patshahi Chhevin in Kurukshetra in Haryana on July 11. It prompted Kurukshetra Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dhirendra Khadgata and Superintendent of Police (SP) Astha Modi to contact the management of the Shiromani Gurdwara Management Committee (SGPC)-run Gurudwara. Later, Gurudwara Patshahi Chhevin manager Amrinder Singh said that “Gurdwara Patshahi Chhevin in Kurukshetra is managed by SGPC. We have no link with SFJ. After consulting with higher officials of SGPC, we released a video message refuting the claims made in the audio message.” DC Khadgata said that, “These audio messages are being circulated with a motive to spread hatred.”
Jalandhar Police (Rural) arrested one person, identified as Pawan Kumar and recovered 500 grams of heroin at a check point near Shahkot in Jalandhar district.
Police arrested a woman, identified as Saroj Rani and recovered 25 kg puppy husk from her at a check point near village Atti near Goraya in Jalandhar district.
Police arrested two drug smugglers, identified as Kuldip Singh and Ranjit Singh and recovered 130 intoxicant tablets and eight bottles of intoxicant syrups from them in Jalandhar district.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court (HC) dismissed the bail plea of an accused in the 2019 Tarn Taran blast. The accused, Malkiat Singh, had sought bail on health grounds, stating that he was suffering from various ailments for the last few years. However, dismissing the plea, the HC observed the trial court order establishes that the appellant was in constant touch with the co-accused and was an active member of the pro-Khalistan terrorist group and further, he collected the bomb from his co-accused and kept it in his possession.
United States 11-Jul-2020
Indian ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu held a virtual interaction with members of the Sikh community in the United States, during which the participating diaspora leaders pledged to contribute to India’s development with particular focus on Punjab.
United States 11-Jul-2020
The Sikh Coordination Committee East Coast (SCCEC) and American Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (AGPC) at an emergency teleconference in New York decided to boycott the Indian politicians and stop funding them in elections besides continuing ban on Indian diplomats, political leaders and consular staff from speaking engagements in US Gurdwarason in protest against alleged recent arrests of Sikh youth in Punjab under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Police arrested two drug peddlers, identified as Rinkal Kumar and Krishna Kumar after recovering 47 kg of ganja from their possession on Ludhiana-Delhi highway in Ludhiana district.
Haryana Police registered a second FIR against the leader of the banned pro-Khalistan outfit Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, on charges of sedition and secessionism. The FIR was registered at Kurukshetra on the complaint of a state police official. The complainant has alleged that Pannun has been blaming the Haryana government and its people for being inimical to the interests of Sikhs and Punjabis. Haryana police spokesperson said that they have got all websites allegedly created by Pannun and launched in the past one week blocked.
The Indian High Commission in Canada lodged a strong protest about a program that was broadcasted by PTN24 channel on April 26, which incited violence and hatred against India. According to the sources, the program in concern was a religious program held annually as a tribute service to militants killed during terrorism in Punjab. It includes a "Sahaj Path", reading of the holy Guru Granth Sahib, followed by a speech from prominent members of the Sikh community. Sources reveal that these speeches were filled with hatred and incited violence against India. "Although the entire program was full of hateful content, speeches of Harbhajan Singh and Santokh Singh Khela were particularly vitriolic. Harbhajan Singh not only seemed supporting the act of terrorists but also claimed that the Sikh Gurus in Punjab were aiding the terrorists in their mission", said the sources. It added, "He even referred to the violent action in 1984 at the Sikh pilgrimage of Golden Temple, claiming that the terrorists inside were able to kill many Indian soldiers as they were fighting in the path of the lord".
Police arrested two drug peddlers, identified as Varinder Singh and Rajinder Singh and recovered 50 gm heroin from them at Beas in Amritsar district.
United States 13-Jul-2020
The Sikh activist based in the United States and the chairman of Punjab Foundation, Sukhi Chahal, said that the pro-Khalistanis who are running a huge nexus in the Western countries are targeting the Sikh youth in the wake of providing them political asylum. Chahal said, "Youth coming from Punjab to the US, who is unemployed and uneducated, fall into their trap as they have run a massive propaganda. They radicalize these youth by luring them of providing help for political asylum". "The Punjabi youth, who have never witnessed the militancy period in Punjab, are being radicalized. These pro-Khalistanis provide them t-shirts of 'Referendum2020' and mislead them about forming Khalistan," he added. Sukhi said as a Sikh, he himself has witnessed that dark period of militancy and do not wish that time to come again in Punjab. "They are running their shops and it is Pakistan's ISI, which is behind them," claimed Chahal.
According to reports, India and Canada are closely cooperating on the issue of Khalistani terrorism and separatism even as fringe elements in the latter have been proactive. The cooperation includes giving classified information on Khalistanis, given the full support Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has been giving to them. India and Canada already have a Framework for Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism agreed in February of 2018. his year Khalistanis have been active especially since they plan to do a so-called "referendum". Canada with second largest number of Sikh Population after India has been a ground for ISI backed Khalistanis to get support from the diaspora.
According to officials, Pakistan government laid a 16,000 feet artificial turf in the courtyard of the Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara to facilitate bare-footed pilgrims walk on the marble floor in the scorching heat.
Punjab Police busted a Pakistan-sponsored drugs and illegal arms smuggling racket, by arresting four persons including the kingpin, a Border Security Force (BSF) constable posted in Kashmir. Arrested persons were identified as constable Sumit Kumar, Simarjit Singh, Manpreet Singh and Amanpreet Singh and police recovered foreign-made weapons, 80 live cartridges etched with Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) markings and various other weapons along with Rs 32.30 lakh drug money from them. During the preliminary interrogation, the accused have confessed to being in touch with Pakistani terrorist Shah Musa who sponsored the module.
Police arrested an absconding drug peddler, identified as Gurbejh Singh along with 1 kg heroin and Rs 46, 000 drug money in Sultanpur Lodhi town of Kapurthala district. The accused was declared a proclaimed offender (PO) by a court in two cases of drug peddling registered against him.
Jaspreet Singh (18), who was booked under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) by the Punjab Police recently, returned after 16 days in custody late on July 13 night. This after Punjab Police told a Patiala court that they have found no evidence against the youth during investigation. Earlier he was arrested on June 30 along with two others as suspected to be part of a Khalistan Liberation Front (KLF) module.
Punjab Police busted a gang of international arms smugglers with the arrest of two gangsters, identified as Gurpreet Singh alias Gora and Germanjeet Singh from Bhogpur in Jalandhar district. Police seized a .455 bore pistol, two 9 mm pistols with four live cartridges, one pump action 12 bore rifle, one .32 bore revolver, one .30 bore pistol and live cartridges, Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said, adding that the Hyundai Verna car they were travelling in was also impounded.
The Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh said that the BJP led Indian government was using every tactic of eradicating minorities from the Indian sub-continent just like what Mughals did long ago. Giani Harpreet Singh said that the Mughals did everything to eradicate minorities from the Indian sub-continent but now those minorities are in majority here.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided the residence of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) militant Paramjit Singh Pamma and interrogated his parents at Phase 3B2 in Mohali in SAS Nagar district. According to sources, Pamma, who is currently working in close association with Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, has been abroad for a long time. The NIA team searched the entire house and also seized the passbooks of bank accounts in which Pamma was depositing money. They also inquired about Pamma’s remittances and other foreign funds and noted the details of the fixed deposit (FD) accounts of the elderly couple. Pamma’s parents, Amrik Singh and Ratan Kaur, said the search went on from around 10.30 am till 4 pm.
Haryana Police in Ambala registered a case against an unknown person for issuing a death threat to Anti-Terrorist Front India president Viresh Shandilya. According to police, the FIR was registered on the complaint of Shandilya, who alleged that he received a death threat over the phone. In his complaint, Shandilya said he had received a phone call on Sunday (July 12) night with the caller threatened him for speaking against pro-Khalistan sympathisers. Shandilya alleged that the caller said he will be eliminated like former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, who was assassinated way back in 1995.
Police arrested two persons, identified as Sukhwinder Singhand Ranjit Singh for allegedly peddling drugs from Pakistan, and recovered 500 gm of heroin from them on the Fazilka-Ferozepur highway in Fazilka district. The accused had also confessed that they were in touch with Pakistani smugglers, and had brought the consignment from Pakistan through a river route in Ferozepur.
The newly elected acting president of Haryana Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (HSGPC), Sant Baba Baljit Singh Daduwal lambasted Pakistan for carrying out genocide of Sikh youth in Punjab and Haryana by smuggling drugs and narcotics into India through the international border. Daduwal said that his priority will now be to protect the precious lives of the Sikh and other youth in the states bordering Pakistan by spreading awareness about drug abuse.
Members of the Sikh community held a protest near the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi against Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for backing pro-Khalistan activities and the ‘Khalistan Referendum 2020’. Sikh activists from the Jag Assara Guru Ott, led by Sardar Manjit Singh GK and various Sikh welfare organisations stage a demonstration near the Pakistan High Commission. There were around 50 to 60 Sikh protestors who tried to march towards the Pakistan High Commission from Teen Murti. However, they were stopped near Chanakyapuri police station, police said.
The banned pro-Khalistan outfit Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) asked Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) to facilitate the registration of Sikh voters at two city-based Gurudwaras for a referendum in November on the secession of Punjab from India. A large number of Sikhs in Delhi and many journalists have been receiving calls from US-based numbers playing a prerecorded message of SFJ’s legal adviser Gurpatwant Singh Pannun giving the details of the voter registration process and urging them to make “Referendum 2020” successful.
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) passed a resolution saying it had nothing to do with “Referendum 2020” and it “opposed” the propaganda. The resolution read, “SFJ on social media has given the impression that DSGMC is supporting Referendum 2020, which is objectionable. We are a religious body and have nothing to do with it.”
Gopal Singh Chawla, a Khalistani activist based in Pakistan, issued a video statement threatening former Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Manjit Singh GK for leading the protest outside Pakistan high commission in New Delhi.
Indian World Forum (IWF), an organisation working to promote art, culture and commerce among the country’s diaspora, sent a complaint to Delhi Police commissioner SN Shrivastava against a 44-second video appeal by Pannun to hold a voter registration camp at the two Gurudwaras on July 19. IWF secretary general Puneet Singh Chandhok said, “Pannun has appealed to all Indians, in particular the Sikhs, to overthrow the Indian administration in Delhi and liberate the state of Punjab from Indian occupation by virtue of promoting Khalistan and Referendum 2020 and holding voter registration camps on July 19 at Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib and Gurdwara Bangla Sahib.”
The Bombay high court issued a legal notice to Twitter India, as it failed to submit its reply to a petition which had alleged that the social networking platform was deliberately promoting tweets from pro-Khalistani and secessionist groups. The notice is in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), filed two weeks back. The Chief Justice of the Bombay high court, in a previous order on June 5, directed Twitter India to file its response within three weeks. The response is still pending.
According to reports, Belgium-based Ranjit Singh Nita of the Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) is recording audio to seek support for “registration” for secessionist “Referendum 2020” from July 19 and these audio records are sent to various people, including journalists in India. In a 1.2-minute audio call having the country code 0032 (Belgium’s ISD code), the caller introduces himself as Nita, resident of Jammu and Kashmir and “mukh sewadar” of KZF, instigating people to register themselves to participate in the campaign.
According to reports, Belgium-based Ranjit Singh Nita of the Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) is recording audio to seek support for “registration” for secessionist “Referendum 2020” from July 19 and these audio records are sent to various people, including journalists in India. In a 1.2-minute audio call having the country code 0032 (Belgium’s ISD code), the caller introduces himself as Nita, resident of Jammu and Kashmir and “mukh sewadar” of KZF, instigating people to register themselves to participate in the campaign.
A recent video of Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun reveals that on the behest of Pakistani intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), planning is being done on a war footing to spread panic in Delhi, Punjab, and Haryana. The video has been caught by the investigating agencies, in which Delhi has been threatened to make another Khalistan. It is being told that at the behest of Pakistan, the work of spreading the wrong message is being done in India. After this video of terrorist Gurpatwant Singh surfaced, the Delhi Police has also been alerted along with Indian intelligence and investigation agencies.
The family members of the Kashmiri Sikh youth, Mohinder Pal Singh, who was recently arrested by Delhi police in connection with Khalistani terrorism, refuted the claim of Delhi police and alleged he is being “framed” in a “fabricated case”. The family is claiming that he was targeted solely for serving langar to the anti-CAA protesters at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi. He was arrested by the Delhi police for alleged links with militant outfit Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) on June 15.
India thanked the Afghanistan Government for the safe return of kidnapped Sikh Nidan Singh Sachdeva and decided to facilitate the return of Afghan Hindu and Sikh community members facing security threats in Afghanistan to India, said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a statement. There are about 1,000 Sikh and Hindus left in Afghanistan and the sense of insecurity was heightened after their massacre at Gurudwara Guru Har Rai in Kabul in May this year.
The Border Security Force (BSF) recovered 64.33 kg of heroin from the Ravi river that flows along the India-Pakistan international border in Gurdaspur district. According to BSF, the contraband was found in 60 packets concealed in long fabric cloth tubes and tied to a bunch of water hyacinth floating in the river. The consignment was "pushed" into the river from Pakistan to the Indian side and BSF troops deployed at the border outpost in Nangli, near Dera Baba Nanak, spotted it in the wee hours. Though, the troops noticed some suspicious movement in the river, the smugglers managed to flee taking advantage of the darkness.
After Indian authorities blocked a Russian portal used by pro-Khalistan group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) to propagate its anti-India agenda, the banned group launched a Canadian portal to register ‘Referendum 2020’ votes to demand Khalistan. A major security alert was sounded in New Delhi by agencies as the group this time targeted the national capital for voter registration regarding ‘Referendum 2020’ unlike its previous attempt to pick Punjab for its illegal agenda. The group took the step after India on July 4 blocked the Russian website www.punjabfree.ru, which was used by SFJ for online voter registration for ‘Referendum 2020’ in Punjab. Sources said that the SFJ launched Canadian portal ‘DelhiBanayGaKhalistan.ca’ from Canada to register ‘Referendum 2020’ votes in Delhi.
Police arrested two drug peddlers, identified as Rajesh Kumar and Rijwan and recovered 3 kg of opium from their possession in Khanna in Ludhiana district.
The Border Security Force (BSF) seized three packets of contraband, weighing over 3 kg heroin, in Abohar sector near the Indo-Pak border in Fazilka district.
Punjab Police arrested an Army soldier and three others for their involvement in illegal arms and drug smuggling. Earlier a racket was busted last week in which a Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers and three others were nabbed by the Jalandhar (Rural) police. Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said Ramandeep Singh, who is a soldier, was apprehended from Bareilly in UP, on the basis of disclosures made by BSF Constable Sumit Kumar. He said three aides of Ramandeep, including Taranjot Singh alias Tanna, Jagjit Singh alias Laddi and Satinder Singh alias Kala would be brought on production warrants. Around Rs 10 lakh has been recovered from Kala thus taking the total amount seized to Rs 42.30 lakh.
The Sikh community across India have rejected the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) sponsored propaganda of Referendum 2020. On the first day of the registration for Referendum 2020 projected by a US-based Khalistani radical outfit Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) not a single member of the Sikh community turned out to register for the same. Earlier, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the head of SFJ had claimed that it would start the registration process in New Delhi on July 19, 2020, after holding an Ardaas at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib but the Sikhs in New Delhi outrightly rejected it and no such Ardaas happened. However, a frustrated SFJ issued fake and morphed pictures of Gurdwara Bangla Sahib showing the images of Khalistani radicals.
According to the latest Border Security Force (BSF)’s statistics, there has been a three-fold increase in the recovery of heroin by the BSF along the Punjab border this year (2020) as compared to the corresponding period last year. It also shows that around 328 kg of heroin, apparently smuggled from Pakistan, has been seized till July 19 this year. Last year, the figure was around 100kg for the same period.
United States 21-Jul-2020
The American Sikh Council (ASC) expressed extreme concerns about the illegal detention of innocent Sikh youth across the state of Punjab in the past two weeks. ASC mentioned that since late June 2020, over dozen Sikhs have been randomly and illegally arrested around Punjab including Lovepreet Singh of village Kaithal and Iqbalpreet Singh of Fatehgarh Sahib who are from poor working-class families who are not only trying to live honestly but volunteering for the welfare of others.
According to sources, due to increase in attacks on minorities in Afghanistan by Pakistan-based terror organisations, India has decided to issue long term visa to 700 people from such minority communities who are stuck in the war-torn country. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) has cleared issuance of 'long term India visa and facilitate their travel to New Delhi'. "India will facilitate the return of over 700 Afghan Hindus & Sikhs after the minorities faced several terror attacks and persecution by Pakistan-backed terror groups," said the source.
Special Task Force (STF) arrested a policeman, Rajwinder Singh along with his wife Kuldeep Kaur and son Harpreet Singh along with 121-gram heroin during a special checking at Bathinda-Goniana national highway in Bhokhra village in Bathinda district.
Police arrested a narcotic smuggler, identified as Jugraj Singh resident and recovered 1.10 Kg of heroin from his possession near Sultanpur Lodhi in Kapurthala district. Police also recovered one 32 Bore Pistol, one magazine and seven live cartridges from the possession of the arrested narcotic smuggler.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has written to Border Security Force (BSF) Director General Surjeet Singh Deswal, expressing his appreciation for the seizure of a huge cache of drugs by the personnel of BSF’s 10th Battalion in Gurdaspur sector. The CM also recommended that all members of the BSF team involved in the recent seizure of 60 kg of heroin should be rewarded for their success. The BSF on July 19 had seized 60 kg of heroin from the Ravi river that flows along the India-Pakistan international border in Gurdaspur.
The US-based banned pro-Khalistan group, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) started to mobilise the people from the Sikh community to register for the referendum scheduled for July 26 in Jammu and Kashmir. In a video message, the SFJ co-founder Gurpatwant Singh Pannun asked members of the Sikh community and the sympathisers of another terrorist organisation Indian Mujahedeen to register for a vote on the referendum on July 26.
The Dal Khalsa demanded judicial inquiry into the suicide of Sangrur boy Lovepreet Singh under mysterious circumstances at Gurdwara Amb Sahib after he was questioned by National Investigation Agency (NIA) in a case under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The Baluchistan government handed over a 200-year-old Gurudwara to the Sikh community. The Siri Guru Singh Gurdwara located on Masjid Road in the centre of the city has been used as APWA Government High Girls School for 73 years since the creation of Pakistan in 1947.
According to Intelligence inputs, the banned Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) group have been trying to establish a base in Jammu and Kashmir. It said that the outfit recently gave a call for Sikhs residing in the valley to support its online 'Referendum 2020' campaign, which seeks secession of Punjab from India. After it's failed attempts at getting support for 'Referendum 2020' voter registration in Punjab and Delhi, the SFJ's next target is Jammu and Kashmir, where it plans to launch voter registration for the illegal campaign on July 26.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that there has been a recent spurt of attacks on Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan by terrorists at the behest of their “external supporters” and India has been providing necessary visas to members of these communities who want to come. The MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said once those who want to come and settle in India arrive in the country, their requests will be examined and acted upon based on existing rules and policies.
The Tarn Taran police have frozen assets worth around Rs 81 crores of as many as 75 narcotics smugglers including cross border smugglers within a year’s period. The senior superintendent of police (SSP), Dhruv Dahiya informed that following clearance from the center’s revenue department, district police had frozen assets of 75 smugglers worth around Rs 81.21 lakhs. He informed that police froze property of notorious smugglers Jagjit Singh, residents of Sheron village and Balwinder Singh, resident of Havelian village worth around Rs 11 crore and Rs 10 crore respectively.
The state government stated that Punjab Police has busted an inter-state drug cartel operating in more than 50 districts spread across 11 states of the country, using the hawala channel route. As many as 20 persons have already been arrested with a huge cache of drugs, drug proceeds-money and five vehicles, in an operation that spanned over eight weeks. Of the 20 people arrested so far, 16 are from Punjab, two from UP and one each from Haryana and Delhi.
The Organised Crime Control Unit (OCCU) along with the Mohali police arrested five hardcore gangsters, including Navdeep Singh, alias Johan Buttar, after a brief encounter at Aman Homes, Kharar in SAS Nagar district. The police also recovered six weapons, including two 9-mm pistols, a .30 bore pistol, a .32 bore pistol, two .315 bore pistols and 20 cartridges from them.
The Justin Trudeau Government will not recognise the results of the Punjab 2020 Referendum being organised by the pro-Khalistan group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ). A spokesperson of Canada’s Foreign Ministry, stated in an email response to the queries of Canada’s stand on the referendum scheduled for November this year: “Canada respects the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of India, and the Government of Canada will not recognize the referendum.” The spokesperson also said that the bilateral relationship between Canada and India “is a priority for the Government of Canada.” However, Indian officials did not want to comment on this development on record, though one described it as “significant” that this was put in writing and a change from the earlier stance that the referendum was protected by freedom of speech and expression rights in Canada.
Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Captain Amarinder Singh welcomed Canada's decision to not recognise the results of the 'Referendum 2020' which is organised by Pro-Khalistan group, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ). The CM is hoping other countries would follow Canada's example and reject the secessionist 'Referendum 2020', which the SFJ was promoting to divide India into communal lines. CM also said that the categorical stand taken by the Justin Trudeau government on this issue is exemplary. He hopes other nations and governments should come out, and be against SFJ as well—which has been banned by India as a terrorist organisation. He added that failing to oppose the separatist SFJ organisation could set a dangerous precedent for any country, this could be seen as covert support to an organisation that would freely be propagating secessionist activities.
A day ahead of launching voter registration in Jammu and Kashmir for its online 'Referendum 2020' campaign, the banned Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) group has activated a direct hotline from United States (US) to woo people in the Valley infected with Covid-19. Intelligence agencies issued alerts across Jammu and Kashmir soon after the information leaked that the secessionist group has announced to give Rs 2,000 to every novel coronavirus infected persons in the Valley irrespective of their religion. According to sources, SFJ has offered financial support for four days between July 25 and July 28, an attempt to gain sympathy from residents of Jammu and Kashmir for its illegal 'Referendum 2020' agenda. In its message to people of Jammu and Kashmir, who are affected by the coronavirus, the SFJ has asked them to contact the group at its Covid-19 Hotline via WhatsApp on +19175796400 or email at email@example.com to get the aid.
Police arrested two drugs smugglers, identified as Arvinder Singh and Romesh Singh and recovered 19500 intoxicant capsules and 110 intoxicant tablets from them near Adampur in Jalandhar district.
Haryana Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (HSGPC) president Sant Baba Baljit Singh Daduwal alleged that Pakistan is carrying out genocide of Sikh youth in Punjab and Haryana by smuggling drugs and narcotics into India through the international border. He said, “Drug trafficking from across the border is a serious issue as it is a deliberate attempt to carry out the genocide of our youth, especially those living in the states bordering Pakistan.” “Our youth are getting physically and mentally ill. We will work on a war footing in association with other social welfare organisations to eradicate the menace of drugs. I have been working in this field for the past 25 years and with this additional responsibility I will intensity this mission,” he added.
A day after India welcomed Canada's decision to reject 'Referendum 2020', the banned secessionist group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) launched a portal from Canadian cyberspace to kickstart voter registration for the Khalistan Referendum in Jammu and Kashmir. The landing page of portal www.Canada4Referendum2020.ca conspicuously displays the red and white national flag of Canada merging with Khalistan flag. However, intelligence agencies claimed, they could not find any support to the SFJ's announcement which claimed to give Rs 2,000 to every novel coronavirus infected persons in the Valley irrespective of their religion. Earlier, SFJ had used a similar Canadian portal to propagate its anti-India agenda in Delhi to demand Khalistan, on July 19 but it failed because of action taken by Indian law enforcement agencies. A similar activity regarding referendum 2020 voter registration in Punjab on July 4 was also foiled by the agencies.
The national spokesperson of the Akali Dal Manjinder Singh Sirsa said that injustice is being meted out to the Sikh community as the site of the martyrdom of Bhai Taru Singh ji at Naulakha Bazaar in Lahore, Pakistan is being claimed as the place of Masjid Shahid Ganj. “Sikhs even when they are the most humanitarian community are called Goonda by mischievous extremist elements in Pak who refuse to honour History,” Sirsa tweeted. He appealed to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to warn such extremist elements in Pakistan and take immediate action to save the Shaheedi Asthaan from illegal squatters.
An activist of Dawat-e-Islami (Beraillwi), who is also a caretaker of Mazar of Muslim prophet Hazrat Shah Kaku Chesti in Lahore has threatened the minority Sikh community saying that Pakistan is an Islamic nation that belongs to Muslims. In a video, Sohail Butt, who also runs a shop in Landa Bazar, along with some local activists have occupied the land of Gurudwara Shaheed Bhai Taru Singh and has threatened Gopal Singh Chawla, the former chief of Pakistan Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (PGPC) who hoisted Shri Nishan Sahib (a Sikh symbol) at the Gurudwara last year. Sohail claims that the land on which Gurudwara Shaheed Bhai Taru Singh and its adjoining 4-5 kanals of Gurudwara land belong to Mazar of Muslim prophet Hazrat Shah Kaku Chesti and adjoining Masjid Shaheed Ganj.
India welcomed the first group of 11 members of the Sikh and Hindu minority community of Afghanistan, including Nidan Singh Sachdeva who was recently released from captivity. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, in a tweet, that the Indian government was "facilitating the return of Hindu and Sikh community members seeking permanent residency and citizenship in India".
India lodged a strong protest with Pakistan against attempts allegedly being made to convert a historic Sikh Gurudwara into a Mosque at the Naulakha bazaar in Lahore. India ‘expressed its concerns in the strongest terms’ over an incident where an attempt was allegedly made to convert the Gurudwara ‘Shahidi Asthan’ - the site of the "martyrdom of Bhai Taru Singh ji" in 1745 - into the Masjid Shahid Ganj in Lahore. New Delhi said that the Gurudwara “is a place of reverence and considered sacred by the Sikh community” and that “this incident has been viewed with grave concern in India”.
The Border Security Force (BSF) seized two plastic bottles containing around 1.5 kg of heroin from Ferozepur sector in Ferozepur district. According to BSF, the smugglers were trying to push the consignment across the Indian territory along the zero line in Ferozepur sector, but their attempt was thwarted by the BSF troops.
The members of the SAD (Amritsar), along with other Sikh organisations held a protest march against the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for interfering in the state over the Referendum 2020. They were protesting against the suicide committed by the Sangrur youth at Amb Sahib Gurudwara on July 13, after he was summoned by the NIA.
Police arrested a drugs peddler, identified as Naveen Kumar and recovered 20 grams of heroin from his possession in Phagwara in Kapurthala district.
The intelligence agencies warned that the designated terrorist outfit and pro-Khalistan group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) has started targeting soldiers of the Sikh community in the Indian Army, threatening them to desert the force. They have alerted the armed forces and security establishments about the terrorist outfit’s nefarious activities. Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has been backing the malicious campaign launched by the SFJ. The SFJ is instigating Sikh defence personnel in the backdrop of the recent martyrdom of four Sikh soldiers in Ladakh sector during the recent clashes with Chinese troops at Line of Actual Control. The intelligence agencies also alerted that “Besides exploiting open social media platforms, the outfit is also using the encrypted chat platforms particularly WhatsApp for disseminating these inflammatory messages”. “The call is a pre-recorded one with the fwd number being+1 (617) 390-7018, likely to be belonging to Massachusetts, North America,” the agencies stated. SFJ members in the call are “motivating Sikh Indian soldiers not to get martyred for India”. They are inciting people by saying that India has a history of “not supporting Sikh people that is why they should leave Indian Army”. As per the message, Sikh people are being asked to join the ‘Sikhs For Justice’ campaign wherein on joining they will get Rs 5,000 more than their present salary in Indian Army.
Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh urged the Centre and Punjab government to stop arresting innocent Sikh youths in Punjab under the anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). He said that, “There is a dire need to order an independent judicial inquiry in this regard as poor Dalit youths in Punjab were being targeted.” The Jathedar made the statement after meeting a deputation led by Bholath Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who sought his intervention into the “rampant” arrest of Sikh youths after allegedly implicating them in terror cases.
According to reports, after the refusal by Canadian government to recognize Sikhs For Justice (SFJ)’s Referendum 2020 campaign, there is likelihood that Pakistan government could also rebuff SFJ to continue with its anti-India agenda from its soil. Pakistan has earlier declined SFJ’s request to hold registration for Referendum 2020 among Indian Sikhs who had gone there with Sikh jatha to celebrate Baisakhi last year (2019). The President of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) Satwant Singh disassociated himself with SFJ, its Referendum 2020 campaign and its legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and said that PSGPC had not received any request to hold any function with regards to Referendum 2020 in any of the gurdwaras. “Let the request come then we will discuss in the meeting and take appropriate decisions”, he said. Another senior Sikh leader from Lahore who didn’t wish to give his name said that “We will not allow SFJ to hold any function or the voters registration for Sikhs of Pakistan, we (Pakistani Sikhs) will not be the part of his personal agenda, even our local Pakistani friends have started asking us whether we will betray with Pakistan for Khalistan”.
Sikhs in Pakistan want the Imran Khan government to deal with those staking claim over the historical Gurdwara Shaheedi Asthan in Lahore at its own level and restore confidence among minorities. Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) president Satwant Singh said, that “Sikhs across the world are sad to hear the news about Gurdwara Shaheed Bhai Taru Singh. The vision of the Pakistan government, especially Prime Minister Imran Khan, is to promote peace and brotherhood. The incident that happened at Shaheedi Asthan is the act of an individual. There is a plot behind the gurdwara, which is a property of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETBP). They plan to grab that plot. This is wrong and can’t be tolerated.” Meanwhile, the ETPB, a Pakistan government body under which the PSGPC works, has lodged a complaint against Suhail Butt Attari, who is seen intimidating the Sikh community in Pakistan.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) condemned attempts to encroach upon a historic shrine dedicated to Shaheed Bhai Taru Singh in Pakistan and convert it into a mosque. SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal asked the Union Ministry to take up the matter with its counterpart across the border.
The Punjab government told Punjab and Haryana high court that it is blocking all sites that are being launched by the banned pro-Khalistan group, Sikh For Justice (SFJ). The state responded to fresh application filed by one Bikramjit Singh Bajwa, a Mohali resident, who had demanded that necessary steps be taken against the SFJ, which, he said, has suddenly become very active furthering the cause of separate state for Sikhs.
The banned pro-Khalistan group, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) has planned to hold voter registration camps for its secessionist agenda 'Referendum 2020' on August 15 in front of Indian embassies in seven countries, including the US and the UK. Besides the group is learnt to have plans for similar camps in Canada, Italy, Germany, France, Australia and New Zealand when Indian embassies there will be celebrating India's Independence Day on August 15. Indian security agencies have warned embassies in these countries to be on alert.
According to sources, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun is camping in Canada's capital Ottawa to coordinate the August 15 voter registration camps in front of Indian Consulates in Canada and other western countries. Recently, the SFJ, headed by Pannun in Canada, burnt the Indian tricolour in Canada and mailed the remains to the Indian High Commissioner in Ottawa. The group has claimed that "remains of Indian tricolour have been mailed to Ajay Bisaria, Indian High Commissioner in Ottawa as a symbolic gesture to remind India that Canada considers Khalistan as a political opinion unlike India where Referendum 2020 campaigners are being charged under UAPA and sedition". Article 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms declares the freedom to express political opinion as a fundamental right of the people, the SFJ claims in the mail. However, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry of Canada last week rejected the SFJ's 'Referendum 2020' campaign and said, "Canada respects the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of India, and the government of Canada will not recognise the referendum."
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said he will do everything under the law as needed to protect the security and integrity of Punjab and of the nation, and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal’s threats could not deter him from ensuring the safety of his people. Pointing to the increasing attempts by Pakistan’s ISI to infiltrate terrorist modules and smuggle weapons into Punjab from across the border, the CM said his government was committed to taking whatever steps necessary, as per the law, to protect not just the state but India from these elements. There were forces bent on destabilising the nation by fomenting trouble and promoting the separatist ideology citing the Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) Khalistani agenda. “Sukhbir should know that SFJ has been declared an unlawful organisation and its chief Gurpatwant Pannun had been designated a terrorist by the Indian government, and, as such, the police force of all states, including Punjab, were duty-bound to take all legal action to fight their attempts to subvert national security,” the CM said.
Twenty-five Canadian Member of Parliaments (MP) have written to Canadian immigration minister Marco Mendicino calling for a special program for Afghan Sikh and Hindu refugees so that they can be brought back safely to Canada. The letter written by 16 Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), 6 New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) and 3 Green Party expresses “concern about the existential threat to religious minorities in Afghanistan, specifically, the Sikhs and Hindus.”
United Kingdom 30-Jul-2020
The British government rejected the Khalistani extremist group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ)'s Referendum 2020 which seeks the separation of Punjab from rest of India saying that it considers Punjab as part of India. A British High Commission spokesperson said, “This is a matter for the government and people of India, not foreign countries or overseas organisations. While we support the right of anyone to voice their opinion, the UK government is not involved in any way with this unofficial and non-binding referendum," he said, adding, "We consider the Indian Punjab to be a part of India.” The development comes, days after Canada dismissed support for Khalistani separatism.
The Punjab government informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that all websites being launched by outlawed Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) are being banned soon after they are noticed by the authorities. The court was also informed that 116 WhatsApp groups related to SFJ had been banned and 16 FIRs had been registered against the organisation.
The Haryana government and the Centre also submitted to the Punjab and Haryana High Court that all the state authorities as well as the departments of the Union of India were aware of the threat posed by Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) and all possible steps to counter every anti-national activity were being resorted to.
A Kapurthala court granted bail to a 65-year-old resident of Akala village of Bholath, identified as Joginder Singh Gujjar alias Goga, who had been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) on July 2. Bholath Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Jatinderjit Singh submitted that till today, no evidence had come to the light suggesting that the accused was a member of the Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) or any other unlawful association. He also submitted that there was no evidence to prove that he had participated or propagated the activities of SFJ’s Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
The European Council decided to renew the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) of Sri Lanka, along with 20 other organizations including Babar Khalsa, Hizbul Mujahideen’ and Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF).
India praised Canada for disavowing the Punjab Referendum 2020 campaign organized by the pro-Khalistan group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ). India believes that in clearly disavowing the referendum the Canadian Government has set a precedent that should be emulated by other countries, particularly in the West. A senior official said, “Canada taking a lead is good start,” adding that the position was that this stand now “put pressure” on others to follow suit.
The Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) attacked the Justin Trudeau’s government for its stand against referendum 2020 campaign and asserted it will go ahead with its plans in Canada and elsewhere. Its general counsel Gurpatwant Pannun in a statement said, “Canadian Sikhs will not let the Trudeau regime trump their right to peacefully express and propagate the political opinion of Khalistan by holding Referendum 2020. Trudeau government should find some other way to please India.”
United Kingdom 01-Aug-2020
After the British government dismissed its referendum 2020, the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) stated that, “One we establish consensus on the question of independence, we will then present the case to the United Nations for re-establishing the country of Punjab. Punjab Referendum 2020 is an unofficial referendum where the outcome is not legally binding on India. Yet with an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote this unofficial referendum will start the process through which we will eventually conduct an official legally binding referendum in Punjab, thereby peacefully establishing Khalistan.” “Today UK believes in India’s territorial integrity but tomorrow when they will see an overwhelming Sikhs supporting the independence of Punjab, I am sure they will reconsider the position,” it added.
The Border Security Force (BSF) troops seized 2.9 kg heroin near border outpost (BOP) Old Mohammadi Wala in Ferozepur district in the wee hours.
Police arrested a person after recovering 2,000 intoxicant capsules and 175 intoxicant injections from his possession in Phillaur in Jalandhar district.
Police seized 261 kg of poppy husk from three vehicles in Abohar in Fazilka district. However, the occupants managed to flee taking advantage of the dark.
Punjab police busted another Pakistan-backed cross border drugs and weapons smuggling racket, with the arrest of two smugglers including a BSF constable, posted along the Pakistan border in Tarn Taran district. According to Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta, the Jalandhar rural police had recovered a .30 Bore Pistol (made in China), along with 5 live rounds and ₹24.50 lakh as drug money, from the three, identified as Surmail Singh, Gurjant Singh and BSF constable Rajendra Prashad.
India is preparing to bring back around 700 more Sikhs who are being 'tortured' in Afghanistan. These Sikhs will be brought back in several batches. Earlier, the first batch of 11 Sikhs reached India on July 26.
According to reports, the past few months have seen much intimidation and threats meted out to the Sikhs in different parts of Pakistan. Sikh girls have been kidnapped and converted and attempts were made to convert a Gurudwara. Ironically, this is happening at a time when the Pakistan government has put in an extra effort to woo the Sikhs and invite them across the border from India to the Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara. This comes at a time when Pakistan is encouraging and funding the revival of a nascent Khalistan movement.
After getting bail, the 65-year-old NRI Joginder Singh Gujjar claims he has nothing to do with pro-Khalistan group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) or its campaign for Khalistan ‘Referendum 2020’. He got bail after four weeks of being arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) after police told the court that they could not find any evidence against him. About a picture with SFJ leader Avtar Singh Pannun, Gujjar says that in 2019, Pannun had come to a Guruwara in Italy. Gujjar, who was president of the Gurudwara committee, says the committee decided to honour Pannun and others. “I was asked to give siropa (robe of honour) to Pannun. I don’t know him personally till date and not aware of his profile or activities,” he claims. He said that he had been living in Italy for the past 25 years and running a small shop there. He insists he is not involved in any political or secessionist activities.
A Delhi court directed the city police to provide a man with a copy of an FIR registered against him. The man, identified as Rajkumar alias Lovepreet Singh is accused of being a Khalistan sympathiser who, along with others, was planning to execute people and extort others for money in various north Indian states on the directions of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)-sponsored Khalistan leaders.
The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust invited Giani Harpreet Singh, the acting Jathedar of the Akal Takht, to the bhoomi pujan ceremony being organised in Ayodhya on August 5 for the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya in Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh.
Pro-Khalistani group, Dal Khalsa wrote a letter to the Akal Takht Jathedar saying that no Sikh must attend the event as a community representative. The letter from general secretary Parmjit Singh Tanda says, “Sikhs are a third religio-political entity in this sub-continent. They should not become part of any celebrations of one religion at the cost of other’s sentiments, especially in an event that has a history of controversy. For us, keeping cordial relations with both the communities (Hindus and Muslims) on equal grounds is in our quami (community) interests.”
The Sikh bodies in Pakistani-occupied Kashmir (PoK), including Sikh Intellectuals Circle J&K, International Sikh Federation, Sikh Students Federation and Sikh Youths of J&K said that the entire Sikh community had decided to observe 5th August as Siege Day. They demanded restoration of special status of Jammu and Kashmir and release of all Kashmiri political detainees.
Some Sikh religious and political leaders in Pakistan came out in the open to exhort the community to ‘help’ militant movements in Kashmir. Messages were delivered to the Pakistani Sikh community on August 5, which is being observed as Youm-i-Istehsal (the day of exploitation) in Pakistan. The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSPGC) president Satwant Singh in his video message said that supporting Kashmiris in their “cause” is their duty, which they would continue to perform. He claimed that Kashmiris are being subjected to atrocities and denied their rights. “Sikhs have been helping the oppressed and it is time for the Sikhs to help Kashmiris,” he said.
United States 05-Aug-2020
Khalistani and Kashmiri separatists staged a demonstration against India at Times Square, New York City on the occasion of the bhoomi pujan ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodha. The coordinator of Sikh Coordination Committee, East Coast, Himmat Singh said that the protest was held against the Hindutva regime supported by the BJP. According to intelligence sources, during the sponsored programme, various Sikh and Kashmiri hardliners spewed venom against India and pro-Pakistan and Khalistan slogans were also raised.
United States 05-Aug-2020
According to reports, only a handful of Pakistani protestors had gathered at the iconic Times Square for the anti-India demonstrations which were organized under the leadership of Himmat Singh, a pro-Khalistani Sikh, to counter the massive celebrations of Ram Temple foundation stone laying ceremony conducted by the Indian Diaspora. Around 20-25 people were gathered out of which only 2-3 were from Sikh community while the others were of Pakistani origin. They raised pro-Khalistan slogans with an aim to disrupt the celebrations of Indian community.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) decided that the entire cost of bringing the Sikhs living in Afghanistan to India would be borne by the SGPC.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) charged eight people of an International narco-terror gang, operating from Pakistan and Dubai, in connection with alleged smuggling of 500 kg heroin, through Gujarat sea route. NIA, in its charge sheet, said its probe showed that the heroin was brought in three trips from Pakistan through the sea route at Gujarat by the gang which was acting in conspiracy with Pakistani nationals. All three consignments were clandestinely transported to Punjab, NIA spokesperson Sonia Narang said.
The Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Harpreet Singh said that, “The place where Ram Temple is being built up is important for Hindus. Equally important are the Gurdwaras for Sikhs, which were demolished in India.” He said, “I congratulate Hindu society for construction of Ram Temple, but I would like to say that Gurdwara Gian Godri (Haridwar), Gurdwara Dangmar Sahib (Sikkim) and Gurdwara Mangu Mutt (Puri) are as important and sacred places for Sikhs as Ram Temple for Hindus.”
United Kingdom 07-Aug-2020
The British Sikh Association defied the Sikh Federation UK for its demand for an independent state for the Sikhs after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson assured that his government does not support the Khalistan movement. A British businessman Lord Raminder (Rami) Ranger tweeted, "Today, I spoke with the British Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Boris Johnson who categorically assured me that British government does not support the Khalistan movement. Thank you, Prime Minister." His comment was countered by Labour Party MP for Birmingham Preet Kaur Gill, who said, "The principle of self-determination is prominently embodied in Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations. It is positioned as the first right in the twin Human Rights Covenants -- the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and (ICESCR). Most concerning." Kuldeep Singh Shekhawat, a journalist based in London said, "This (Khalistan) is (a) fake idea. There is no one in India demanding Khalistan in India. Indian Sikhs know that India is for them and they are for India." However, the Sikh Federation UK, which is allegedly working on the behest of Pakistan's secret agency, supported Preet Kaur Gill saying that "Sikhs have a legal and historical right to their own homeland, the British signed treaties with the Sikh Kingdom which are valid today. The betrayal of the British and Gandhi/Nehru Congress in 1947 is the reason for ongoing Sikh revolutionary movements. They won't stop until freedom."
Police arrested two drug peddlers, identified as Harwinder Singh and Balwinder Singh after they recovered five kilograms opium and fifty kilograms poppy husk from the onion laden truck from near Boparai Kalan in Sudhar area in Ludhiana district.
United Kingdom 09-Aug-2020
The Sikh Federation UK has taken great exception to Lord Raminder Ranger’s comment over Khalistan, stressing that self-determination is a basic human right enshrined in international law and Article 1 of UN Charter. The Sikh Federation intervened after a row broke out on social media between Shadow International Development Secretary Preet Kaul Gill MP and Conservative Party’s Lord Raminder Ranger.
Some media persons informed Lucknow Police that an audio message in a female voice was doing the rounds in which a woman is heard urging people to protest against Ram temple construction terming it a step towards making India a ‘Hindu Rashtra’. The message further instigates the followers of a certain faith to demand a separate country on the lines of Khalistan.
The anti-terror unit of Delhi Police Special Cell, which is probing a series of hate calls made to people ahead of Independence Day, has lodged an FIR of sedition and conspiracy and is trying to track down the caller. Complaints about VoIP calls being made from international numbers were made to police stating that the caller, a man, was inciting members of some communities to take “steps” towards dividing the country into smaller nations. The caller asked people to make a start by not allowing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hoist the national flag at Red Fort on Independence Day. He also called for the formation of “Urdustan” on the lines of Khalistan.
United Kingdom 10-Aug-2020
Indian Diaspora in UK has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to stop any protests by Pakistan and its supported Khalistani supporters near the High Commission of India building in London on August 15, the day Indians celebrate India's Independence Day. "August 15 is a National Day celebrated by Indians and across the world by Indian diaspora. It is the day when the first foundation stone was laid to form the union of states and a vibrant democratic country by gaining Independence. This day is a joyous movement for all Indians/ British Indians settled in the UK too", said the letter submitted to PM. The letter added, "However, Pakistan and Pakistan supported violent Khalistan groups have been a hindrance to our celebrations by creating unrest and violently attacking celebrators at the High Commission of India, London in recent years. This pattern is observed more in recent years and every year the violence has gone a step further". The Indian Diaspora added, "We would like to mention the violent attacks by sharp weapons on police personnel too apart from Indians gathered to celebrate last year (2019). British government and local administration allowing Pakistan and Pakistan support Khalistan groups to carry out violent protests has deeply hurt Indian Diaspora".
The World Punjabi Organisation president Vikramjit S Sahney will organize chartered flights to evacuate over 400 Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan in next few days in coordination with DSGMC and Indian Embassy in Kabul.
The Punjab and Haryana high court said that persons accused of peddling drugs need to be dealt with firmly and no sympathy can be shown to them lest that should prove to be counter-productive and result in increased drug trafficking.
The security agencies are on high alert as the banned pro-Khalistan group, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) have announced a $125,000 reward for anyone who hoists a Khalistan flag at the Red Fort on Independence Day on August 15. Delhi police along with different security establishments were alerted after the SFJ offer. Over 45,000 security personnel will guard every nook and corner of the city on Independence Day, besides over 2,000 snipers deputed at specific locations on high-rise buildings in the 5-km periphery around the Red Fort. Meanwhile, the security agencies have assured that it is "just an attempt by the SFJ to create panic".
Police arrested five drug peddlers and seized drug money amounting to Rs 22.50 lakh from them at Verka in Amritsar district. Police claimed that the arrested persons used to smuggle heroin and opium from Jammu and Kashmir and sell in Punjab. The accused have been identified as Savinder Pal Singh alias Shind, Jagdeep Singh alias Kaka, Karamjit Singh alias Mana, Paramjit Singh alias Pamma and Rajwinder Singh alias Raju.
United Kingdom 12-Aug-2020
Businessman and chairman of British Sikh Association, Lord Rami Ranger said that British Prime Minister has assured him that the British Government does not support Khalistan movement in the UK or any activity against India. Lord Ranger said that, “I informed Prime Minister Johnson that there are some separatist organisations working for Khalistan and they want to separate Punjab, the Indian side of Punjab from India. Prime Minister categorically assured me that the British Government does not support such organisations or anything against India.” Recently, Lord Ranger was criticised for his tweet asserting the Prime Minister’s support. Preeti Gill, member of Parliament Labour party, had replied to the post, saying, “The principle of self-determination is prominently embodied in Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations. It is positioned as the first right in the twin Human Rights Covenants-the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and (ICESCR). Most concerning.” Mentioning the fiery twitter interaction with Preet Gill, Lord Ranger said, “You don’t get self-determination on Twitter sitting 5000 miles away. You have to go and fight your cause with the people and test your popularity.” He further called out the organisations and people pushing for Khalistan, to renounce their British Passports, go to India, form a political party and do something “worthwhile” if they really believe in it.
The security agencies are on high alert as the banned Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) is learnt to have announced a $125,000 reward for anyone who hoists a Khalistan flag at the Red Fort on Independence Day on August 15. Delhi Police was busy coordinating with different security establishments ahead of Independence Day when it was alerted to the SFJ offer.
United Kingdom 13-Aug-2020
The new Indian High Commissioner, Gaitri Issar Kumar, said that New Delhi will take all measures at its disposal to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity. She said in an interview that “the people of Punjab and the Government of India have worked together over the years to successfully root out the Khalistan ‘movement’ — extremist entities associated with Khalistan terrorism — in the early 90s in India. We are aware that many of these terrorist entities connected with the Khalistan movement continue their activities based in the UK and other western countries, where they had fled to. It is well known that they operate in close cooperation with Pakistan-backed perpetrators of terror to create instability in J&K and other parts of India.” “Our government has a number of institutional mechanisms for sharing relevant information on all these organisations with the UK, including regular dialogue and robust cooperation in a variety of areas related to our convergent security and defence interests.” She added that “We appreciate the position taken by the UK government on the Khalistan issue — that they see Punjab as an integral part of India.” “As for ‘Sikhs for Justice’, its supporters must be aware of this organisation’s involvement in serious terror-related and other illegal activities for which many are wanted in India. My government has officially sought the proscription of the terror entity ‘Sikhs for Justice’ in the UK”, she said.
Just a day before the Independence Day, two miscreants managed to reach the terrace of the four-storeyed district administrative complex in Moga in the morning and put up a saffron flag with Khalistan written on it, while their accomplice filmed the incident from a distance. The miscreants, while fleeing, took away the Tricolour on the ground floor and allegedly tore it. Later, Police personnel put up a new Tricolour and removed the saffron flag from the roof of the building. Moga Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Harmanbir Singh Gill said that two youngsters brought along the saffron flag at 8.15am. “It was a normal flag with the Khanda symbol but they had written Khalistan on it with paint.” Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kaustubh Sharma said, “We have CCTV footage of the accused and will arrest them soon.”
Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh directed police to take strict action against the miscreants responsible for hoisting a 'Khalistan' flag in the Moga administrative complex. He also appealed to youngsters not to get swayed by the vicious propaganda of anti-India elements like terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and his Sikhs For Justice (SFJ). "You try to come to Punjab and I will teach you a lesson," the CM warned Pannun, adding that any attempt to disturb the state's peace would be dealt with an iron hand. The CM said that he directed Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta to ensure that the two miscreants identified in the Moga incident are arrested at the earliest so that deterrent action can be taken against them, as per the law. Punjab Police has announced a reward of Rs 50,000 for the duo, whose CCTV grabs have been released.
Police arrested a drug peddler, identified as Mangat Singh alias Manga along with one-kilogram poppy husk in Nakodar in Jalandhar district.
United Kingdom 15-Aug-2020
British Pakistani and Kashmiri community held a demonstration outside Indian High Commission London on August 15 afternoon to mark India’s Independence Day as ‘Black day’ which was also joined by Indian Sikh community. The participants carried flags of Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Khalistan.
Punjab Police registered cases against 45 persons, while 15 of them have been identified, for raising 'Khalistan Zindabad' slogans at BR Ambedkar Chowk in Jalandhar. Few Sikh organisations, including women and other minority groups, demanded 'Freedom of Khalistan' amid the Independence Day celebrations. While the Khalistani supporters declared their arrest unjust, police claimed that they broke Covid19 safety guidelines. In order to 'put an end' to the protest, cops took them away in a van at the Police Lines. The protesters led by Prof Mohinderpal Singh, general secretary of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) –(SAD-Amritsar) at Patiala were carrying placards on which it was written: Under UAPA, I am a terrorist”. He said, “It has been 73 long years since India got freedom, but nothing has changed. The litany of grouses, grievances, and grudges of Sikh people against India has grown with every passing year, in fact with every passing day. The protesters at Gurdaspur led by Dal Khalsa general secretary Paramjit Singh Tanda demanded the release of political prisoners, including including PinjraTod girls, Jaggi Johal, Jagtar Singh Hawara and Prof Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar and others.
A group of Pakistanis and pro-Khalistan people on August 15 organised a rally in Germany's Frankfurt and the participants of the rally shouted slogans against India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with pro-Khalistan slogans. During the rally, Prashant Vengurlekar stood one side of the street with the tricolour in support of India. Later, Prashant Vengurlekar shared a video of the rally which also showed the participants charging at him for supporting India. The video showed that people in the rally were passing from an area in Frankfurt. While recording video of the rally, Prashant showed India's national flag to them without saying anything. When people in the rally noticed him with the tricolour, they hurled abuses and charged at him. One of the participants of the rally even attempted to hit Prashant with the Pakistani flag. The Police present at the scene also intervened to contain the situation.
A controversy erupted when a Khalistan flag was hoisted at a Gurudwara in Dhudike village in Moga district. According to villagers, national flag was hoisted on the premises of the gurdwara in the presence of village sarpanch. The Gurudwara committee, however, objected to the tricolour being hoisted there. The tricolour was taken off. Later, some persons allegedly installed a saffron flag with ‘Khalistan’ written on it on the spot. The villagers removed that flag also and handed it over to police, claiming that they did not know who was behind it. Moga Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Harmanbir Singh Gill, said that the controversy happened due to “internal party politics” in the village. “Khalistan written over the saffron flag was not even legible,” he said.
The Border Security Force (BSF) recovered three packets of heroin weighing 3.26 kg, worth Rs 15 crore, and a China-made pistol (.30 bore) and a magazine near border outpost Shameke along the zero line in Ferozepur sector in Ferozepur district.
According to reports, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is facing a massive setback due to the pro-active policies of the Indian government for the welfare of the Sikh community. Consequently, it is overburdening its proxy organizations like Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) to launch smear propaganda against India amongst the Sikh diaspora. The sinister attempts of the ISI as well as its proxies are proving to be absolute failure, adding to the frustration of Pakistan.
Some miscreants had replaced the national flag with the Khalistani flag near a Gurudwara in Dhudike village of Moga district.
United States 18-Aug-2020
A resolution introduced in the US Congress described Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan as “endangered minorities” and has sought to resettle these persecuted religious communities from the war-torn country to America. Introduced in the House of Representatives last week by Congresswoman Jackie Speier and co-sponsored by seven others, the resolution supports refugee protection for Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan, noting the “systematic religious persecution, discrimination and existential danger” faced by members of these communities.
Four persons, identified as Rupinder Singh alias Rim, Yudhvir Singh alias Jony, Gurjeet and Aman Sharma, were arrested for allegedly having raised a flag with the words ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ in Chaupal village in Sirsa in Sirsa district of Haryana. According to a spokesperson for Haryana Police, two of the four were involved in hoisting the flag and the other two shot the video and posted it on social media. Police have registered a case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, the spokesperson said.
United Kingdom 19-Aug-2020
India refuted as absolutely untrue allegations that a British Sikh man arrested on charges relating to terrorism is being tortured in Tihar Jail in New Delhi after group of demonstrators staged a protest outside 10 Downing Street in London. The Indian High Commission in London in a statement said, Jagtar Singh Johal has been arrested on serious charges relating to terrorism. It is untrue that he is being held without any charges. The prosecuting agency, NIA (National Investigation Agency), has already filed charge sheet in the court of law and he is presently undergoing judicial proceedings as per the law of the land. It is absolutely untrue that he has been subjected to torture. He has been granted consular access several times to the UK High Commission in New Delhi. Further, institutional safeguards like the Human Rights Commission exist to investigate any such allegation, it said. Earlier, the protesters waved placards and made speeches to protest British national Jagtar Singh Johal's detention in India for 1,020 days. His brother, Gurpreet Singh Johal, handed in a letter for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeking his intervention over the alleged third-degree torture and mistreatment and lack of charges against his younger brother in India. Johal, a 33-year-old Scottish-born Sikh, was in Jalandhar with his family for his wedding in October 2017 when he was arrested by police in the city.
The Border Security Force (BSF) recovered 4 kg of heroin from near Mohar Sona border outpost of Fazilka district in the evening. According to official sources, during a search, the BSF team recovered four packets from the agricultural fields of a farmer, Bhagwan Singh, of Retewali Bhaini village. The consignment was allegedly pushed from the Pakistan side into the Indian territory.
Police arrested a 19-year-old youth, identified as Akashdeep Singh from Bathinda in Bathinda district in connection with the case pertaining to putting up a ‘Khalistan flag’ on the terrace of district administrative complex on August 14. Two men, Jaspal Singh and Inderjeet Singh Gill in their early twenties are absconding and Jaspal is the son of a Punjab Police inspector. According to police, Akashdeep, who reportedly filmed the incident and Jaspal and Inderjeet had put up the flag with Khalistan written on it on the terrace of the administrative complex at 8:15am on August 14. While fleeing, the two men also removed and took along the Tricolour hoisted on the premises.
Some activists of SAD (Amritsar) and Dal Khalsa staged a protest outside the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) office, alleging illegal detention of a sister of one of the accused and a minor boy in connection with Khalistan flag hoisting case.
The Dal Khalsa said that the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal was planned against universally accepted riparian principles with an eye on looting the scarce water resources of Punjab and the digging of SYL was next to impossible and that the people of Punjab would not allow this to happen. It categorically stated that Punjab owns the waters of the Sutlej, Ravi and Beas and no legislation or court could deprive the state of its legitimate right of ownership. Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said the ghost of the SYL canal has cropped up again to haunt the people of Punjab. “We will defend the rights of the state at any cost,” he added.
The Supreme Court dismissed the bail application of Malkit Singh alias Shera, one of the accused in connection with the blast that took place in Tarn Taran district of Punjab in September 2019. A bench headed by Justice NV Ramana dismissed the plea saying it cannot grant bail to the accused. Earlier, the prosecution had submitted before the NIA court that during the course of investigation, incriminating role of the accused had emerged and that he was highly radicalised towards the Khalistan movement and he was part of a gang that had planned terrorist activities.
The Border Security Force (BSF) shot dead five Pakistani intruders in self-defence after the infiltrators opened fire on the Indian troopers along the International Border (IB) in Tarn Taran district of Punjab early in the morning. One AK-47 assault rifle with two magazines and 27 live rounds, four .9mm Berretta pistols with seven magazines and 109 live rounds, 9kg heroin, two mobile phones and Rs 610 in Pakistani currency were also recovered from the infiltrators. According to the BSF’s Inspector General (IG), Punjab Frontier, Mahipal Yadav, prima facie, it appears the five men were trying to infiltrate as they were carrying arms and drugs, but their exact motive will be ascertained by the Punjab Police during their investigation. The mobile phones recovered by the intruders could contain vital information, Yadav said.
The pro-Khalistan separatist outfit, Sikh For Justice (SFJ) offered money to anyone performing ardas for Khalistan at Akal Takht on August 23. In a release issued on August 22, SFJ’s Gurpatwant Singh Pannun has tried to lure people into offering such arads at Akal Takht by offering $5,000, and $500 for offering ardas at other local Gurudwaras. Recently, Pannun had offered $200 for removing Indian tricolour and raise Khalistan flag instead at gram panchayat on August 15, the Independence Day.
The Special Task Force (STF) seized 4.2 kg of heroin hidden in a water pipe across the barbed fence near Chanduwadala village border outpost in Gurdaspur in Gurdaspur district. A STF official said that the seizure was made following the questioning of Sukhwinder Singh alias Kaka, of Chanduwadala village, who had around 15 acres across the barbed fence. Kaka was arrested following a tip-off that he, along with Karandeep Singh of Dhilwan and Mandeep Singh of Chanduwadala village, had smuggled a drug consignment, procured from Pakistan-based smugglers, into the country.
The Border Security Force (BSF) and the state police in a joint operation seized 1 kg of heroin near the border outpost in Fazilka in Fazilka district.
The Border Security Force (BSF) arrested five drug smugglers, identified as Bikramjit Singh, Nirmal Singh, Nachhattar Singh, Panjab Singh and Raju and recovered 1.12 kg heroin from them in Wan Tara Singh village in Tarn Taran district. The contraband was concealed in their shoes.
The Border Security Force (BSF) found eight packets of heroin, weighing 2.41 kg, in the fields of Tarsem Singh of Naushehra Dhalla in Tarn Taran district.
A ‘Khalistan’ flag was put up on a flyover in Moga city in Moga district. According to the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Harmanbir Singh Gill, it was done by some miscreants and the act had nothing to do with fundamentalist organisations. He said the miscreants’ intention was to disturb communal harmony in the area. Gill said hoisting any such flag was not a legal offence, but it was punishable, if done with a “malicious” intention. Many such incidents have been reported in Moga district over the past few days.
Punjab Police arrested one Khalistani terror sympathiser, identified as Gurmeet Singh from the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar district after he allegedly organised prayers for the Referendum 2020. According to the reports, Gurmeet Singh also shot a video of the prayer he organised at the Golden Temple. He organised prayers after the pro-Khalistan group Sikh For Justice (SFJ) had claimed that it would offer $5000 to anyone performing prayers for Khalistan at Akal Takht on August 23. Later, Gurmeet Singh, a resident of Tarn Taran, works as a Sikh preacher (granthi), confessed to the police that he was promised $5000 by Pannun if prayer is held for Khalistan at the Golden Temple.
United States 23-Aug-2020
A Sikh man based in the US, Surjit Singh, alleged that the chief of pro-Khalistani extremist group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), Gurpatwant Singh Pannun extorted $15,000 from a Dalit youth from Punjab. In a video shared on social media, Surjit Singh of California has alleged that Pannun cheated him of $15,000 which he had paid to him in an immigration case of a Dalit youth last year. Surjit Singh is heard saying in the video that he gave Pannun $15,000 for getting the US residency status for a Punjabi youth of the Valmiki community (Dalit). However, after Pannun received the money, he did not fulfill his commitment and did not deliver what he had promised. Surjit is also heard saying in the video that whatever Pannun has been doing, he does it only for money.
Four Indian nationals were detained from the border belt in connection with the killing of five Pakistan intruders by the Border Security Force (BSF) in Tarn Taran on August 22. The killings has led the Punjab Police to a narcotics nexus thriving in connivance with local residents in the remote rural belt along the International Border (IB). According to police, the four had established connections with the five Pakistan nationals. Tarn Taran SSP Dhruman Nimbale said that details of weapons recovered from the intruders were being investigated, though no radical activity had surfaced so far. “Prima facie it appears to be an attempt to push narcotics from the Pakistan side in connivance with drug smugglers on this side of the border,” he said.
Police arrested three drug peddlers along with 100-gm heroin, Rs 3.50 lakh cash and a car in Ferozepur district.
An Assistant sub-inspector (ASI) was shot at by a notorious smuggler, Rachhpal Singh Daula in Tarn Taran district. The injured ASI, Malkiat Singh, and his associate Ranjit Singh managed to arrest Rachhpal and seized his country-made revolver. His motorcycle was also impounded. However, Rachhpal’s accomplice Bhalwan managed to flee.
The Akal Takht acting Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh said, “Arresting Sikh youths for performing ardas in gurdwaras is not fair.” “Performing ardas is the religious duty of every Sikh. A Sikh always vows to the concept of Raj Karega Khalsa (Khalsa will rule) through ardas. However, performing it or getting it performed for money is not Sikhism. The Sikh youths should be conscious of the provocative statements,” said Giani Harpreet Singh. Earlier, police arrested a youth for performing ardas of Khalistan at Takht Damdama Sahib and Akal Takht on the call of a US-based secessionist group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ).
Prisoner Bhai Lal Singh was permanently released after 28 years of prolonged imprisonment. He had languished in different Indian jails for the last three decades after being indicted under TADA and Arms Act charges in August 1992. In 1997, he was sentenced to life by the Court in a case pertaining to the recovery of arms at Dadar railway station in 1992.
According to recent reports, Pakistan' Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and its terror outfits who are unable to execute any attacks in the country to disturb law and order situation due to the alertness of forces and intelligence agencies are now giving the task to local gangsters. Recently, Chandigarh intelligence unit alerted all intelligence agency units regarding such tie-up between terrorists and gangsters who have clout and local connections.
Punjab Police arrested a wanted drug smuggler, identified as Rashpal Singh from Tarn Taran district. Rashpal Singh is wanted in several cases registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and is also suspected of having links with terrorists. A country-made semi-automatic pistol, two magazines and six live rounds were recovered from Singh. The motorcycle used by him and his associate has also been seized.
A court in Barmer district of Rajasthan sentenced 10 men, including an operative of banned terrorist organisation Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), to life imprisonment in a case related to the seizure of large cache of explosives and weapons in 2009. According to the judgment, back in September 2009, the police had received information that consignments of explosives and weapons smuggled from Pakistan were to be delivered to a terrorist organisation based in Punjab by a smuggler, Sodha Khan alias Lunia. Following this, the weapons and explosives were seized by the police and the accused arrested. Jagmohan Singh, one of the 10 convicted, is a member of BKI and had come to Rajasthan to take delivery of the smuggled explosives and weapons, said the judgment. The court said in its judgment that after examining all evidence, it is proved that the accused, in connivance with Pakistan-based smugglers related to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and terrorists of BKI obtained the weapons for carrying out terrorist attacks in the country along with the objective of spreading enmity between people from different religions. In the judgment, Special Judge Singh said that based on call record details, it has been proved that the accused were in touch with England-based Chief of BKI Paramjit Singh alias Pamma. The judgment also said that the accused wanted to revive terrorism in Punjab.
Intelligence agencies issued an alert after information was received that secessionist group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) has given a call for a 'Punjab Bandh' on August 31. SFJ, which was declared an ‘unlawful association’ by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in July 2019, in a recent message called for a "Punjab Bandh" on August 31 to commemorate the 25th death anniversary of Dilawar Singh, the assassin of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh. In its bandh call, the SFJ has offered reimbursement of travel expenses for return trip to Amritsar to Sikhs who will attend Ardas at Akal Takht on August 31. SFJ leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, in his call, mentioned that Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) appointed Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Gurbachan Singh in 2012 had declared Beant Singh's assassin Dilawar Singh as a "Qaumi Shaheed". "SFJ is humbled to offer this seva to Sikhs in Punjab who wish to attend Ardas at Akal Takht on August 31," said the call. Citing an Amnesty International report on the situation in Punjab during 1992-95, Pannun stated that "Bhai Shaheed Dilawar Singh indeed put a halt to the genocide of Sikhs under Beant's rule. We urge people of Punjab to shut down all businesses except essential services such as clinics and pharmacies on August 31 in respect of Quami Shaheed Dilawar Singh," added Pannun.
A court in Frankfurt on August 25 began the trial of a 54-year-old Indian man accused of spying on Sikh and Kashmiri communities in Germany. Balvir is accused of spying on the expatriate communities for the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) since January 2015.
In a first, the ‘jyoti jot’ diwas (death anniversary) of Guru Nanak Dev would be observed at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur Sahib, on September 22. The decision was taken during a meeting of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) and the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB).
Baljinder Singh, the father of 19-year-old Akashdeep Singh who was recently arrested for allegedly raising a Khalistan flag atop the Moga DC office and desecrating the Indian flag, said that the banned pro-Khalistan outfit Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) has been misleading youths in Punjab. “These pro-Khalistan outfits such as SFJ and their leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. These people are misleading youths in Punjab in the name of Khalistan. Children of poor people are being misguided by these people in the name of Khalistan. Jehde eh Khalistan de bhaashan de rahe ne, oh ethe aap aake lain jhandey (these people who are giving pro-Khalistan speeches, why don’t they come here themselves and put Khalistan flags)? If you (Pannun) are a true Khalistani, then why don’t you come to Punjab and put Khalistan flags all around? My family and I have always saluted the tricolour for which Bhagat Singh laid down his life. We do not believe in any Khalistan ideology,” Baljinder said. Baljinder also claimed that Akashdeep only shot the video of the incident, that too after being “misled” by his cousin Jaspal Singh and his friend Inderjeet Singh, the other accused booked in the case.
Baljinder Singh, the father of 19-year-old Akashdeep Singh who was recently arrested for allegedly raising a Khalistan flag atop the Moga DC office and desecrating the Indian flag, said that the banned pro-Khalistan outfit Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) has been misleading youths in Punjab. “These pro-Khalistan outfits such as SFJ and their leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. These people are misleading youths in Punjab in the name of Khalistan. Children of poor people are being misguided by these people in the name of Khalistan. Jehde eh Khalistan de bhaashan de rahe ne, oh ethe aap aake lain jhandey (these people who are giving pro-Khalistan speeches, why don’t they come here themselves and put Khalistan flags)? If you (Pannun) are a true Khalistani, then why don’t you come to Punjab and put Khalistan flags all around? My family and I have always saluted the tricolour for which Bhagat Singh laid down his life. We do not believe in any Khalistan ideology,” Baljinder said. Baljinder also claimed that Akashdeep only shot the video of the incident, that too after being “misled” by his cousin Jaspal Singh and his friend Inderjeet Singh, the other accused booked in the case.
Punjab Police busted an international narco-terror racket with links to proscribed militant group Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) with the arrest of a wanted drug smuggler, Rajinder Singh alias Ganja and a police constable Karamjit Singh. A .32 bore pistol, four live cartridges and 530 grams heroin were recovered from Rajinder’s possession. According to police, Rajinder faces several drugs and arms-related cases. He was also involved in hawala transactions to the tune of Rs 12 crore. The police constable was facilitating safe movement of drugs and money during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
The Border Security Force (BSF) recovered two packets of 2-kg heroin near the International Border (IB) in the Border Out Post Gatti Biosoke area in Fazilka district.
Ontario’s Peel Regional Police said that the August 15 incident in the City of Brampton in which a loaded handgun was seized and five South Asian males were arrested was not about Khalistan politics as reported in local media.
The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) invited Sikh pilgrims from India to offer ''Jyoti Jyot Gurpurab'' prayers at the historic Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Punjab province of Pakistan next month.
Police arrested four drugs smugglers, identified as Ram Labhaya, Manu Chawla, Meena Saini and Anchal and recovered 850 gm opium,75 gm heroin, Rs 1.22 lakh cash and five mobiles phones from them at a High-Tech Naka near Sutlej River in Phillaur in Jalandhar district.
Police arrested a drug peddler, Nishan Singh on the charge of selling intoxicant tablets and recovered 400 intoxicant tablets from him in Lohian Khas in Jalandhar district.
A band of Haryanvis clashed with a group of Khalistanis at Harris park in Sydney, Australia on August 28 night in an organised brawl following a quarrel that ensued over an argument on TikTok. It was apparently broadcast through the social media platform. According to Punjabi singer Kamal Choudhary, the fight started after Jassi, a Khalistani, started posting pro-Khalistani and anti-India content on TikTok.
The Special Task Force (STF) officials arrested two persons, identified as Balwant Singh and Mukul and recovered 30-gram heroin from their possession from near the old bus stand in Phase VIII in Mohali in SAS Nagar district.
The Akal Takht decided to confer the ‘Panth Sewak’ award upon Dal Khalsa founder Gajinder Singh, who led his aides in hijacking an Indian Airlines plane to Lahore in 1981 and is one of the “most wanted persons” on the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA)’s list. Gajinder’s name is on the list of 11 Sikhs the highest Sikh temporal seat has finalised for various awards. However, the list has not been announced officially.
Two suspected members of the banned terror outfit, Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF), identified as Inderjeet Singh Gill and Jaspal Singh were arrested from GT Karnal Road in New Delhi on charges of hoisting a Khalistan flag at a Punjab government office in Moga district on the eve of the Independence Day on August 14. The Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) (special cell), Delhi Police, Sanjeev Yadav, said that “On the eve of the Independence Day, the two men had hoisted a Khalistan flag on the roof of the office of district collector of Moga.” They had also joined the Sikhs For Justice (SJF), a secessionist group based in the United States (US) that supports the secession of Punjab from India as Khalistan. During the interrogation, it is revealed that Inderjeet is a 10th class dropout who worked as a driver at Rauli, Punjab. Since his early years, he had a radical set of mind bent towards pro-Khalistan movement. Inderjeet subscribed to YouTube channel namely "Sikhs For Justice" recently on the insistance of his maternal uncle. He further disclosed that one person namely Rana from the US and one other person delivered lectures on the channel Sikhs For Justice delivering Anti-India preachings. It was also revealed that Rana had declared a reward of 2,500 dollars for waving the Khalistan flag and for tearing the Indian flag at Moga and a reward of 1,25,000 dollars for doing the same on the Red Fort and other historical buildings.
The Border Security Force (BSF) recovered 14 packets of heroin weighing approximately 14.7 kilograms in Abohar sector in Fazilka district.
The families of the two suspects arrested in Delhi blamed Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the legal advisor of the banned Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) for “spoiling the lives” of their children ‘in the name of Khalistan’. Father of one of the accused, Jaspal Singh (27), is a Punjab Police Inspector Chamkaur Singh. Chamkaur Singh said that his son has been arrested because he did took part in the act. “My son has not been implicated falsely. He should be punished. But we demand that Pannun should also be arrested and given the strictest possible punishment. He is the one who is misleading the youth in Punjab in the name of Khalistan and spoiling their lives. He has spoiled my son’s life too”. Chamkaur Singh said that Jaspal was an aspiring kabaddi player, but an injury to the spine during a match ended his dream.
Ludhiana MP (Member of Parliament) Ravneet Singh Bittu on August 30 took yet another jibe at Akal Takht acting jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh over their plans to observe a religious function in the memory of the assassin of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh in the Golden temple complex in Amritsar. In a tweet on the eve of 25th death anniversary of his grandfather, Bittu, said, “August 31 will be a decisive day this year. This is the day when Beant Singh Ji sacrificed his life for Punjab and the nation. If Jathedar Sahib, under the direction of SJF (Sikhs for Justice) & Pannu (its convener) holds an ardaas for Dilawar Singh at Akal Takht Sahib, who was a prominent Khalistani and an assassin, it will provide evidential proof that the Jathedar stands for Khalistan & is working to fulfill SFJ’s paid agenda to disturb harmony and peace in Punjab (sic).”
The Akal Takht has decided to confer the “Panth Sewak” award on radical outfit Dal Khalsa founder Gajinder Singh, one of the five men accused of hijacking an Indian Airlines plane to Lahore in 1981. India had put Gajinder’s name in the list of 20 most wanted terrorists in 2002. An Akal Takht official said it was decided during a meeting of five Sikh head priests recently to confer the award on Gajinder Singh. He said the Akal Takht will shortly issue an official notification in this regard and fix a date to honour him. Gajinder Singh is currently residing in Lahore, Pakistan.
Pro-Khalistan slogans were raised by radical Sikh outfits, including Dal Khalsa and Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) at the Akal Takht in Amritsar on the death anniversary of terrorist Dilawar Singh, an assassin of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh. Prayers were also organized at the Akal Takht in the memory of Dilawar Singh. They also asked the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to install the portrait of Dilawar Singh in the Sikh central museum.
According to reports, two people who were arrested in Punjab for putting up a Khalistani flag on a building, were planning to go to Pakistan with the help of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to receive terror training. According to police, the two arrested persons, Jaspal Singh and Inderjeet Singh Gill were planning to go to Nepal from Delhi. From there, the ISI sleuths would have taken them to Pakistan for terror training. The plot involved luring more youth from Punjab to join them in Pakistan. According to the police, both Singh and Gill used to watch YouTube channels supported by pro-Khalistani outfits and had become members of Sikh For Justice (SFJ) group through WhatsApp.
A Moga court on August 31 evening sent Inderjit Singh and Jaspal Singh, arrested by Delhi police in Khalistan flag hoisting case, in five-day police remand. Both were produced in the court under tight security. Earlier, a police team from Moga had got the transit remand and had brought them from Delhi, where they were arrested on August 29 evening.
Saffron flags with Khalistan written on them were put up at the market committee office at Bhucho in Bathinda district and at a flyover on the Bathinda-Chandigarh highway. The flags were removed when police noticed these on August 31 morning. According to reports, some slogans in favour of Khalistan too were raised by unidentified persons.
The former Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Manjit Singh GK hailed Akal Takht’s initiative of honoring Sikh activist Bhai Gajinder Singh “Hijacker” while nailing those creating hue over this move. Manjit Singh GK questioned the credibility of those opposing Akal Takht Sahib’s move of honoring Bhai Gajinder Singh. He asked why such people remained tightlipped when the perpetrators of the 1984 Sikh genocide were honored with the ministries during Congress’ rule.
The Border Security Force (BSF) personnel recovered 6.5 kg of heroin along the International Border (IB) in Ferozepur sector in Ferozepur district. According to BSF, a search operation was carried out near a Border Out Post (BOP) during which six packets of heroin weighing 6.5 kg were seized.
According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report on “Crime in India”, which was released on September 29, as many as 11,536 cases under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act were registered in Punjab in 2019. Out of these 5,609 were registered for possession of drugs for personal use or consumption and 5,927 for possession of drugs for trafficking. A total of 7,2779 cases under NDPS Act were registered across the country. In terms of numbers, maximum such cases were registered in Maharashtra (14,158), followed by Punjab (11,536) and Uttar Pradesh (10,198).
The Delhi High Court declined to entertain a PIL seeking action against social media platform Twitter for being allegedly involved in a conspiracy to promote anti-India propaganda such as Khalistan movement, saying that the plea was based on claims and no representation about it was made to the Centre. The bench allowed the petitioner, Sangeeta Sharma, to withdraw the plea to move an appropriate representation before the central government.
The Indian Army issued a statement rubbishing the claim put out by several Pakistani social media users that Indian Army officer Lieutenant General Taranjit Singh has been arrested on charges of sedition. The Indian Army issued a statement dismissing the claim stating that it categorically rejects such malicious attempts to defame the institution and claimed that a disinformation campaign is being run by Pakistan against the Indian Army and in particular against Lt Gen Taranjit Singh.
The Khalistani secessionist group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) has announced a reward of $10,000 for hoisting Khalistan flag at Shambhu toll plaza at Punjab-Haryana border in Patiala district during farmers rally on October 4. Intelligence aAgencies warned both Punjab and Haryana police to be on alert as the US-based SFJ's General Counsel Gurpatwant Singh Pannun has given the call for raising Khalistan flag at Shambhu border to highlight its agenda that "independence from India is the only permanent solution". During the farmers rally at Shambhu border, SFJ's referendum ambassadors will try to register votes for the outfit's 'Referendum 2020' agenda and will distribute literature to educate farmers about the permanent solution to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's agricultural reform bills, agencies informed.
Police recovered 600-kg poppy husk and 65,000 sedative tablets by intercepting a truck on the Abohar-Sriganganagar highway in Ferozepur district. The driver of the truck, Karamjit Singh Kamma was arrested. Preliminary interrogation reportedly indicated that the consignment was to be delivered in Katora village near Muktsar.
Punjab Police busted a Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) terror module with the arrest of two terrorists, identified as Makhan Singh Gill alias Amli and Davinder Singh alias Happy, from Noorpur Jattan village in Hoshiarpur district. Police also recovered sophisticated arms and ammunition, including an MP5 sub-machine gun (with two magazines and 30 rounds) and a 9mm pistol (with two magazines and 30 rounds), besides an Etios car, four mobile phones and an Internet dongle. The Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said that during preliminary investigations, Makhan disclosed they were in touch with Canada-based Harpreet Singh, who had instigated them to set up a terror module in Punjab to carry out targeted killings. Makhan, who had earlier been a close aide of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) chief Wadhawa Singh Babbar, claimed KZF operative Harpreet was a frequent visitor to Pakistan and was an associate of Pakistan-based KZF chief Ranjeet Singh, alias Neeta. The DGP also said that Makhan was a hardcore pro-Khalistan militant who had earlier been arrested by the Punjab Police for involvement in arms smuggling and various terror-related offences. As many as seven cases had been registered against him. Pakistan-trained Makhan had stayed in the US during the 1980s and 90s. He had also stayed with the BKI chief in Pakistan for over 14 years, added the DGP.
Punjab Police arrested two drug smugglers, identified as Simranjeet Singh alias Simran (26) and Balram Singh (26) from near Kartarpur in Jalandhar district when they were on a heroin delivery mission. The duo were arrested in a follow-up action on the recently busted international drug and weapon smuggling racket operated by former BSF Constable Sumit Kumar alias Noni. A 7.65 mm pistol with Italy marking, heroin, drug proceeds, two mobile phones, two Wi-Fi dongles and a racing bike were recovered from the accused.
The Border Security Force (BSF) recovered one kilogram of heroin along the International border (IB) in the Amritsar sector in Amritsar district. During patrol duty, the BSF troops recovered two plastic bottles carrying the drug.
According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, 560 cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act were registered in Ludhiana commissionerate (Ludhiana CP) in 2019, which placed it at number seven position among the districts and police commissionerates of the state. Jalandhar rural and Sangrur were at number one and two spots with 955 and 807 such cases. In 2018, Ludhiana commissionrate was at ninth place in such cases with 495 being registered under the NDPS Act in that year. Analysis of the sub-categories of the NCRB report of 2019 indicated that Ludhiana CP was at third spot as far as the cases of possession of drugs for personal consumption were concerned with 521 such cases. Sangrur and Patiala were at number one and two spots with 689 and 539 such cases, respectively, in 2019.
Police arrested a drug peddler, identified as Krishan along with 300 intoxicant tablets from Rupewali village in Shahkot in Jalandhar district.
Police arrested a drug peddler, identified as Raj Kumar alias Raju and recovered 300 intoxicant tablets from his possession in Rame village in Jalandhar district.
Police arrested a man, identified as Lakhvir Singh along with 500 grams poppy husk in Kohar Kalan village in Shahkot in Jalandhar district.