India takes up anti-India Sikhs for Justice activities with countries concerned

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New Delhi–A day after it banned the pro-Khalistan Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) that is run by a few Sikhs in the US, Canada and UK, the government said on Thursday it has taken up the matter of the fringe group’s anti-India activities with the countries concerned, especially with Canada, and will continue to do so.

Asked about the SFJ issuing a fresh threat to indulge in anti-India activities on August 15, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: “We have taken it up with the countries concerned and have taken up the matter very strongly with the government of Canada in the past and will continue to do so.”

On Wednesday, the government declared the SFJ an unlawful association for supporting militancy and secessionism in Punjab. The decision, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, was taken in a Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The spokesperson said that an important fact to realise was that “the vast majority of Sikhs in Canada and other parts of the world share warm relations with India and want better relations between India and their country of residence”.

“Frankly, we take no cognisance of what the fringe elements have to say, which is meant to create disharmony and spread hate,” he said, adding that such groups “don’t have any traction within the mainstream Sikh community”.

“We will continue to make efforts to engage with the Indian community in Canada and other countries,” he added.

He termed the SFJ is a “fringe group, involved in anti-India and subversive activities in Punjab. They have supported violent forms of extremism in Punjab and elsewhere”.

The group was formed in 2007 with Avtar Singh Pannun as its President and Gurpatwant Singh Pannun as its legal advisor.

Both the Pannuns, along with a few other individuals in the UK, Canada and Germany were learnt to be, in the garb of the Sikh cause, conducting a pro-Khalistan campaign online and inciting disruptive and militant activities in Punjab.

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