Pannun’s ‘warning’ to Kejriwal: ‘Khalistanis in Tihar jail will hold you accountable’

Mar 25, 2024

Sikh extremist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun has issued a threat to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, saying that “Khalistanis” lodged in Tihar jail would “hold accountable” the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader for “taking Sikhs for a ride”.

In a video purportedly issued Sunday, Pannun alleged Kejriwal had misled the overseas Sikhs and collected almost $16.70 million (nearly Rs 133 crore) from them for his party.

This is not the first time that Pannun has issued a threat to Kejriwal. In January, he had threatened Kejriwal and Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann while demanding the release of Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) associates Jagdish Singh, Manjeet Singh and Davinder Singh — the trio arrested by the Punjab Police for their alleged association with the Khalistan Referendum.

A dual US-Canadian citizen, Pannun heads the SFJ in America and is wanted in more than a dozen criminal and terror cases in India. Apart from planning and supporting activities of Sikh militants in India and abroad, the banned outfit spearheads a Sikh referendum for the creation of Khalistan, a separate Sikh nation.

In the video message Pannun is seen standing before a large TV screen that is playing out news images and videos of Kejriwal and Mann.

Showing a picture of Kejriwal addressing Sikhs in the US, Pannun claimed that in 2014 when the AAP leader was out of power, he held a meeting and promised to release Sikh extremist Davinderpal Singh Bhullar from jail within “five hours of coming to power”.

“It has been 9 years since Kejriwal has been in power, but Bhullar has not been released,” said Pannun.

Bhullar is serving a life sentence in the Tihar jail following conviction in the 1993 Delhi bomb blast.

“Not only has Kejriwal not released professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar, any Sikh who talks about Khalistan is put behind bars by the Punjab government-led by Bhagwant ‘bhand’ (joker) Mann,” Pannun says in the video.

“Earlier, Mann used to be the stooge of Manpreet Singh Badal and collected lakhs of dollars in 2012. Since 2014 till date, Khalistani sympathisers have given funds worth 16 million dollars to the AAP to form their governments.”

“… and yet Sikh youth are being killed in false encounters on the orders and directions of Arvind Kejriwal…he and Bhagwant Mann are responsible..”

“Now he has been arrested.. and will go to jail…remember you will be confronted by Khalistanis..and they will hold you accountable why Bhullar has not been released…why Sikhs working for the Khalistan referendum were falsely implicated… why Amritpal Singh and his associates were arrested under the NSA (National Security Act) and sent to Dibrugarh (jail)… everything would be accounted for in jails…including the 16 million dollars that AAP took from Khalistani sympathisers,” said Pannun.

While the AAP Delhi has not issued any formal reaction to Pannun’s video message, its Punjab spokesperson Malvinder Singh Kang said that the claim of Khalistanis funding the AAP was a blatant lie and an attempt to defame the party.

“If you see Pannun’s rise, you will see it is co terminus with the rise of the BJP and PM Modi. In all probability, he is a creation of the BJP and is conveniently used to level allegations against anti-Modi forces. None had heard about Pannun before the last few years,” Kang told ThePrint.

He added that Pannun’s threatening of Kejriwal about going to jail is also a feeble attempt of the BJP to scare the AAP supremo. “The BJP considers Kejriwal such a huge danger that threats to kill him in jail are being issued”

Arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on 21 March in connection with the alleged Delhi liquor policy scam, Kejriwal is currently in a six-day custody of the central agency.

Meanwhile, Dr Munish Kumar Raizada, who worked as a doctor in the US for 21 years before returning to India and formed the Bhartiya Liberal Party (BLP), posted on social media platform ‘X’ information and pictures of the alleged meeting between Kejriwal and Sikh leaders that took place at the Richmond Hill Gurdwara in 2014.

Raizada claimed that he was a supporter of Kejriwal and was one of the persons who had accompanied the AAP leader to the gurdwara. He confirmed that apart from publicly attended meetings, Kejriwal held a closed-door meeting at the gurdwara with Sikh leaders.