In a big blow to pro-Khalistan group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) the government on Sunday blocked 40 websites being used by it for “registering supporters for its cause.”
The orders to block the websites were issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity), which is the nodal authority for monitoring cyberspace in the country, acting upon the recommendations of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
The decision to block the websites has come a day after Haryana Police had registered an FIR against Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, chief of banned outfit “Sikhs for Justice” on charges of sedition and secessionism at Bhondsi Police Station in Gurugram.
An FIR has been registered under Section 124-A (sedition), 153 A IPC (promoting enmity between classes) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 10(a) and 13 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
A spokesperson of Haryana Police said that Pannun has been seen running a “secessionist” campaign through automated phone calls against India from the US and “indulging in unlawful activities aimed at threatening the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of India”.
The association had been receiving backing from Pakistan’s ISI in its conspiracy campaign ‘Sikh Referendum 2020’ as part of its secessionist agenda.
Last month, the NIA had arrested Pargat Singh, one of the key conspirators and recruiter of radical Sikh youth while working under directions of handlers located abroad to further activities of SFJ (Sikhs For Justice) which has already been declared an unlawful association
The SFJ had been declared as an unlawful association under provision 3 (1) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 on July 10 last year.
The decision to declare SFJ as an unlawful association had been taken after major Sikh bodies raised alarm over the secessionist activities of SFJ and so the government decided to curb the potential threat.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and the All India Anti-Terrorists Front (AIATF) had lauded the central government for banning the radical outfit.
Singh had said that although “the outfit deserved to be treated as a terrorist organisation, the Government of India had at least taken a long-overdue stand against SFJ, which had unleashed a wave of terror in Punjab in recent years” following the ban.
MHA sources told ANI that official website of SFJ biz ‘www.sikhforjustice.org’ and referendum 2020 biz ‘www.2020referendum.org’ were sharing and sourcing content from a Karachi based websites of a number of SFJ activists.
The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act Tribunal had at the start of this year upheld the Centre’s decision to impose a ban on Sikh for Justice (SFJ) observing that the unlawful activities of the proscribed association are disruptive in character and is a threat to the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of India.