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US: Indian diaspora panel seeks to include Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Pannun and SFJ on no-fly list

Image Source : FILE Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

An Indian diaspora panel has sought to include Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and his banned organisation Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) on the no-fly list over his recent threat towards the Indian government and Air India to blow up the flight on November 19.

In a short video, Pannun appealed to Sikhs in the world not to travel by Air India from November 19, saying that it can be life-threatening. This was not the first time he threatened the Indian government to orchestrate a massive attack on India. Earlier last month, he threatened Prime Minister Narendra Modi to learn from the Israel-Palestine war and added a similar “reaction” unravels in India.

“We are asking the Sikhs not to fly Air India on 19th November. On 19th November, there will be a global blockade and the Air India will not be allowed to fly anywhere across the world. Sikhs, you do not travel by Air India after 19th November. It can be life-threatening. This is my warning to the government of India. The Indira Gandhi International Airport should remain closed on the 19th of November,” he said in a 1.37-second video.

A group of Indian Americans and Indo-Canadians, during a panel discussion “Indians in Canada under Threat of Terror and Hate Crimes”, organised by the Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS), said that it was time for governments to take strong action against the Khalistani terrorist.

“Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has misrepresented freedom of expression for freedom of terror and his allegations against India for the killing of extremist Niggar stirred anti-Indian and anti-Hindu crimes in Canada. His policies seem to be ignoring the threats of extremism which will ultimately adversely impact Canada,” said FIIDS Chief of Policy and Strategy, Khanderao Kand.

‘SFJ does not represent Sikhs’

The panel discussion focused on why Pannun and members of the SFJ were not already listed in the no-fly list for his threats against Air India, alluding to the 1985 Air India bombing that killed over 300 people.

California-based Sukhi Chahal said the Sikh for Justice did not represent Sikhs as a whole and propagated a distorted and hateful narrative against Hindus and Sikhs. Chahal also blamed the British and the Congress party for sowing hatred between the two communities and claimed that ‘fake Khalistanis’ are well-funded and supported by Western countries.

Furthermore, Canada-based Ruchi Walla expressed concern about the radicalisation of young Sikh individuals through incorrect historical information and asserted the importance of unity among Hindus and Sikhs.

FIIDS analyst Mohan Sonti blamed former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, the father of the current PM, for the current threats against Hindus by Khalistani terrorists as well as the 1985 bombing. He also accused subsequent Canadian governments of nurturing and supporting the immigration of Khalistani terrorists

Security alerted after Pannun’s threat

After Pannun’s latest Air India threat, Canada’s Minister of Transport Pablo Rodriguez said that the Canadian government has taken the threat very seriously and added that security agencies have been investigating the matter.

“Our government takes any threat to aviation extremely seriously. We are investigating recent threats circulating online closely and with our security partners,” he said. Besides, Canadian authorities have also assured India that it has already enhanced the security of Air India flights.

Meanwhile, India’s High Commissioner to Ottawa Sanjay Kumar Verma said Pannun’s statement was of “serious criminal intent, punishable in all legal jurisdictions” and added that should be taken cognisance of by Canada.

Earlier on Thursday, the Ministry of External Affairs in a press briefing, said India has strongly condemned recent threats made about Air India flights by Khalistani terrorists and added, “We have been engaged with foreign governments on the activities of radical and terrorist elements, that have been inciting violence and intimidation of our leadership, our diplomats.”

The latest threat came at a time when the relations between India and Canada were poised to a new low over the killing of a Khalistani terrorist in British Columbia. Earlier last month, when he threatened to disrupt the cricket World Cup, Ahmedabad police registered an FIR against Pannun. The FIR was registered in Ahmedabad under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). 

(with inputs from PTI)

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