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regular-article-logo Thursday, 30 May 2024

Pannun asks Punjab gangsters to join Sikhs For Justice, 'stop' CM Bhagwant Mann from hoisting flag on January 26

The designated terrorist compared Mann with former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, who was assassinated in a bomb blast on August 31, 1995

PTI Chandigarh Published 16.01.24, 04:55 PM
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun File

Designated terrorist G S Pannun on Tuesday gave a veiled threat to Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and police chief Gaurav Yadav as he asked gangsters in the state to join the banned outfit Sikhs For Justice and stop top political leaders from attending the Republic Day parade.

In an email sent to some journalists and two videos accessed by PTI, Pannun compared Mann with former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, who was assassinated in a bomb blast on August 31, 1995. The blast, which claimed the lives of 17 others, was carried out by the banned terror group -- Babbar Khalsa International.

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Pannun also equated Yadav, the director general of Punjab Police, to assassinated police officer Gobind Ram, who was killed in a bomb blast in 1990.

Punjab Police officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Pannun and his organisation have issued threats in the past as well and all necessary precautions have been taken to ensure "tight security" for all VIPs in the state.

In one of the purported videos of Pannun, he dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the Republic Day parade without security.

"I dare Modi, you come to Delhi without your security. If you are a popular leader, come to Delhi on R-Day without security and SFJ is going to avenge the assassination of Shaheed Nijjar by raising the Khalistan flag," he is heard saying in the video.

Nijjar was killed by unidentified assailants at a gurdwara in Canada's Surrey.

In another video, Pannun asked gangsters in Punjab to join the SFJ, participate in a referendum for Khalistan, and also prevent CM Mann from hoisting the tricolour on Republic Day.

The email sent to journalists, however, deviated slightly from the videos where Pannun, besides giving a call to Punjab gangsters to join the SFJ, also asked them to get recognised as "shaheeds" (martyrs).

Pannun had been designated as a terrorist by the Union home ministry under the anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Sikh for Justice banned in 2020.

Tightening its noose around US and Canada-based "designated individual terrorist" Pannun, the NIA in September last year confiscated a house and land of the self-styled general counsel of the outlawed SFJ outfit in Punjab's Amritsar and the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

The properties confiscated include 46-kanal (5.7 acres) of agricultural land at Khankot village in Amritsar and a one-fourth share of a house in Chandigarh's sector 15/C area.

Pannun has been on the NIA's radar since 2019 when the anti-terror federal agency registered its first case against the terrorist, who has been playing a major role in promoting and commissioning terror acts and activities, and spreading fear and terror in Punjab and elsewhere in the country through his threats and intimidation tactics.

Non-bailable warrants of arrest were issued against Pannun by the Special NIA Court on February 3, 2021, and he was declared a "Proclaimed Offender" on November 29 last year.

"Investigations have revealed that Pannun's organisation, Sikhs for Justice, was misusing cyberspace to radicalise gullible youth and instigate them to undertake terrorist crimes and activities," an NIA spokesperson had said.

The official said the investigations have further revealed that Pannun was the main handler and controller of the SFJ, which was declared an "Unlawful Association" by the Centre on July 10, 2019.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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