The National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a chargesheet against 16 foreign nationals from the US, Canada and UK for allegedly launching a “concerted secessionist campaign” under the banner of ‘Referendum 2020’ for the creation of a ‘Khalistan’ on 09th December.
According to the NIA, all 16 are members of the secessionist group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ). Among those chargesheeted include some key SFJ members such as Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Hardeep Singh Nijjar and Paramjit Singh — all three already designated as ‘terrorists’ under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Gurpatwant also has several other cases filed against him under the UAPA in Punjab and Haryana.
Others who have been chargesheeted are Avtar Singh Pannun, Gurpreet Singh Baagi, Harpreet Singh, Sarabjit Singh Bannur, Amardeep Singh Purewal, J.S. Dhaliwal, Kulwant Singh Mothada, Dupinderjit Singh, Kulwant Singh, Harjaap Singh, Sarabjit Singh, Jatinder Singh Grewal and Himmat Singh.
According to NIA, SFJ has been declared as an ‘unlawful association’ under the UAPA. A case was registered in 2019 under the UAPA, among other sections, against the group.