New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) Just one month into its investigation against the Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has made a breakthrough with the arrest of one of its key conspirators in Punjab, said to be a member of the banned outfit’s recruitment module.
A day after the arrest of Pargat Singh, 23, the anti-terror agency on Tuesday got his custody from a special NIA court till June 29.
The agency said Pargat was working on the directions of Pakistan-backed handlers settled abroad to further the activities of the group. The Centre has already declared SFJ an unlawful association under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
A resident of Sri Muktsar Sahib district in Punjab, Pargat has been arrested in a case related to a series of acts of violence, including arson, in Punjab during 2017-18 when propaganda activities, both online and on ground, and campaigns in support of Referendum 2020 (for Khalistan) were conducted.
Posters were pasted in Delhi and various parts of Punjab in this regard and these acts were committed by groups of radicalised youths under direction of and financial assistance from SFJ handlers based abroad.
The original case was registered at Sultanwind Police Station, Amritsar (City) on October 19, 2018 under UAPA and Section 25 of the Arms Act. Punjab Police filed a charge sheet against 11 arrested accused in the case in March 2019.
The case was subsequently re-registered by NIA on April 5 this year.
“Investigation revealed that the arrested accused persons, including Pargat Singh, had received funds from their foreign handlers through various Money Transfer Service Scheme (MTSS) platforms,” the NIA said.