New Delhi, Oct 14 (IANS) The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has carried out searches at six locations in Punjab in connection with a case linked to banned US-based secessionist group Sikhs for Justice (SJF).
The agency conducted the searches on Tuesday in Ferozpur, Ludhiana and Moga districts of Punjab following an incidence of hoisting of Khalistani flag by SFJ cadres at the Deputy Commissioner’s Office in Moga on the eve of Independence Day on August 14 this year.
The NIA said that the crime was committed by miscreants who were offered cash rewards at the behest of SFJ’s General Counsel Gurpatwant Singh Pannun — who along with eight other pro-Khalistani acrivists was designated as ‘terrorist’ by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on July 1 this year.
The searched premises belong to accused Akashdeep Singh, Jogwinder Singh, Inderjeet Singh, Jaspal Singh and Ram Tirath, the NIA said.
The agency also searched a cyber cafe belonging to accused Jaspal.
During the searches, the NIA seized various electronic items like pen drives, laptops, hard discs and other incriminating documents.
Two miscreants hoisted a yellow coloured flag with Khalistan written on it on the terrace of the four-storied building of the Deputy Commissioner’s office complex in Moga On August 14 this year. While coming back, they cut the rope of the Indian national flag hoisted near the main gate of the building and dragged the tricolour along with the rope.
A case was registered at the Moga police station on August 14 and the NIA later re-registered a case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Section 2 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honours Act, 1972.
“Further investigation in the case is going on,” the NIA said.
The SFJ had earlier announced to hold its ‘Referendum-2020’ campaign in November this year.
Based on the NIA’s recommendations regarding the anti-India activities of the SFJ, the MHA had, in the beginning of September, ordered attachment of properties of SFJ’s key leaders — Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Pannun is the SFJ’s General Counsel while Nijjar is ‘Referendum 2020’ Canada coordinator.
The NIA said that the SFJ is presently making efforts to propagate the ‘Referendum-2020’ on social media.
The MHA declared the SFJ as an ‘unlawful association’ under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act through a notification dated July 10 last year.