Gurgaon: Leader of banned pro-Khalistan group Sikhs for Justice indicted for sedition

Gurgaon police on Friday charged leader of banned pro-Khalistan group ‘Sikhs for Justice’ (SFJ) Gurpatwant Singh Pannun with sedition charges after allegedly posting a video asking people to hoist the Khalistan flag in the offices of the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police in Haryana.

The police also invoked the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against Pannun. Cops said that in the alleged video, Pannun said that SFJ would launch the “Haryana Banega Khalistan” campaign on April 29 to advocate for statehood to secede from India through a referendum.

The police added that they received a complaint on Friday at the cybercrime police station about the matter. “In the video, Pannun warned that the next phase of the referendum for independence of Punjab from India will be held in Italy on May 8. He said that when Punjab is liberated from India , Haryana will become part of Punjab,” Gurgaon Police Spokesman Subhash Boken said.

He added, “He further stated that on April 29, the Khalistan Declaration Day would be observed and the Khalistan flag would be hoisted at DC and SP offices in all districts of Haryana – from Gurgaon to Ambala.”

An FIR has been registered against the accused under Sections 124-A (sedition) and 153-A (promotion of enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language , etc.) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 10 A and 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

In July 2020, Gurgaon police convicted Pannu of sedition after he allegedly posted a clip on social media in which he accused the government of Haryana and the people of the state of being “hostile to the interests of Sikhs and of the Punjabis”.