Himachal Pradesh police on Saturday registered a sedition FIR against US-based pro-Khalistani activist Gurpakhwant Singh Pannu after an outfit named "Sikhs for Justice" (SFJ) threatened to stop Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur from unfurling national tricolour on August 15, the Independence day.
The threatening message was conveyed to Shimla Journalists through a pre-recorded audio clip on Friday.
The SFJ had said that Himachal Pradesh areas, which were merged from Punjab, will be taken back once they undertake a referendum in Punjab for Khalistan.
Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu, who referred the case to the cyber cell of the Himachal Pradesh police on Friday, said the matter was legally examined at the highest level, and views of the central agencies were also taken.
Both state and intelligence agencies were also informed about the audio-clip being frequently played over the mobile phones of the Journalists in Shimla, which had links with US-based activist of pro-khalistani organisations.
“A case has been registered vide FIR No. 04/2021, dt 31.07.2021 at State Cyber Crime Police Station, Shimla for offences punishable under sections 124 IPC (sedition against State), 153-A IPC (act prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 506 IPC (intimidation), 120-B IPC (criminal conspiracy), 13 of The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 (commission of unlawful activity) and 66-C of IT Act 2000” said a police spokesman.
Gurpakhwant Singh Pannu has been named as the main accused in the case as the recorded audio clip received on mobile was circulated on his behalf .
“The threat received through an alleged audio clip from Gurpakhwant Singh Pannu is under investigation to mitigate any terrorist activity propagated by pro-Khalistani outfits. Preliminary investigation revealed that alleged Gurpakhwant Singh Pannu is associated with a pro-Khalistan outfit named Sikhs for Justice (SFJ)” he said.
This organization was banned by the Government of India under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for anti-India activities on July 10, 2019. This pro-Khalistani organization is based overseas with their network in various places in the USA and other foreign countries, as revealed in the investigations.
The threat audio clips received on the mobiles of many journalists and citizens of Himachal Pradesh were through international numbers/VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).
The police said investigations were underway to identify the origin of the caller. The voice spectrograph of the alleged audio clip will be conducted in due course of time to fix the criminality of the accused. This investigation has national and international ramifications.
“Himachal Pradesh Police is seeking cooperation from various Central Agencies to crack down the case and to bring the accused to justice” DGP informed in Shimla.
This was the first time that a politician in the hill state was threatened in this manner.
The Chief Minister has declared that no one can stop him from hoisting the national flag and there is no reason to take such warnings seriously. The state security agencies were doing their job to act against such elements .