Cabinet declares pro-Khalistani group `Sikhs for Justice' unlawful association
11 July 2019
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday declared pro-Khalistani group `Sikhs for Justice’ an unlawful association under provision 3(1) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967.
The group is run by a few radical Sikhs of foreign nationality in the United States of America, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
The Centre is reported to have taken the decision in consultation with state governments, including Punjab. Major Sikh bodies had also raised alarm over secessionist activities of SFJ.
Punjab Police and the National Investigating Agency had busted several modules of SFJ which were indulging in various subversive activities in Punjab, say reports. A probe revealed that activists were radicalised and funded by foreign-based SFJ handlers Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Harmeet Singh, Paramjit Singh Pamma.
Twelve cases filed have been filed against the group and 39 people have been arrested.
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh hailed the government's decision. The chief minister's office described it as the first step towards protecting the nation from the anti-India/secessionist designs of the ISI-backed organisation.
The primary objective of the group is to establish an "independent and sovereign country" in Punjab and push for Sikh Referendum 2020 as part of its separatist agenda.
Meanwhile, the government has taken various steps to combat terror financing in the country, which inter alia, include:
· Strengthening of the provisions in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 to combat terror financing;
· A Terror Funding and Fake Currency Cell (TFFC) has been constituted in National Investigation Agency (NIA) to conduct focused investigation of terror funding and fake currency cases;
· Since Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) network is one of the channels of terror financing in India, FICN Coordination Group (FCORD) has been formed by the MHA to share intelligence/information among security agencies of the states/centre to counter the problem of circulation of fake currency notes.
These measures have helped in checking terror financing, says a government release.
The withdrawal of legal tender status of Specified Bank Notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination led to instant extinguishment of high quality fake Indian currency notes of these denominations. Since illegally held cash forms a large chunk of terrorist funding, most of the cash held with the terrorists turned worthless.
Minister of state for home affairs G Kishan Reddy informed this in a written reply the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.