The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken action against Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the head of the banned Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) organization, by confiscating his properties in Chandigarh and Amritsar under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
VIDEO | NIA conducts searches at Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) chief Gurpatwant Singh Pannun's residence at Sector 15 in Chandigarh. More details are awaited. pic.twitter.com/JUHhhYh9Mz— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) September 23, 2023
A notice was prominently displayed outside Pannun's residence in Chandigarh, indicating the confiscation of a portion of the property under the legal provisions. The notice cited Pannun as a 'proclaimed offender' in an NIA case, and the property was seized by orders of the NIA special court, SAS Nagar, Mohali, Punjab, dated 14/09/2023.
Similarly, Pannun's agricultural land in his ancestral village Khankot, Amritsar, faced a similar fate, with 46 kanals of land being confiscated by the central probe agency in connection with a 2020 terror case.
Amid a growing diplomatic dispute between India and Canada, a video featuring Pannun has gone viral. In the video, he makes statements concerning the Indo-Canadian Hindu community, threatening them to leave Canada and go to India. He also defended the loyalty of pro-Khalistan Sikhs to Canada, asserting that they have consistently supported the country's laws and constitution.
This recent development follows Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's unexpected accusation, just a day earlier, that Indian government agents may have a "potential link" to the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey in June.
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun has a familial connection to the region, with his father being from Nathu Chak village in Tarn Taran before the partition, and the family subsequently relocating to Khankot village in Amritsar. Pannun is known as one of the founders of the US-based separatist group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ). He actively campaigns for a separate Sikh state, known as Khalistan, in the US, Canada, and the UK.
Notably, in July 2020, Pannun was designated as a terrorist by the Union home ministry, leading to the government ordering the attachment of his properties under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Pannun has been known for his efforts to mobilize Sikh youth in Punjab to join militancy and has played a key role in organizing the Khalistan Referendum, a campaign for Sikh independence based on religion. His association with Hardeep Singh Nijjar has further complicated the diplomatic tensions between Canada and India.