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A threat to disrupt international flights: A look at why Sikhs for Justice was banned

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New Delhi, Nov 05: A pro-Khalistan outfit, Sikhs for Justice (SJF) has threatened to disrupt flights scheduled to leave for London today.

The police said that security had been heightened at the Indira Gandhi Airport in Delhi, following threats by the SJF. Further, the SJF also threatened to boycott the flights and asked victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots to occupy the airport in a bid to internationalise the issue.

Security personnel at the revamped Terminal 2 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi

The SJF has been pushing its agenda hard in the past couple of years. In January the Union Home Ministry banned the SJF under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act Tribunal.

The Cabinet it may be recalled had declared SJF as an unlawful association in July 2019.

Ban on us a sign of desperation says pro-Khalistan group, SJFBan on us a sign of desperation says pro-Khalistan group, SJF

This came in the wake of the government banning the Khalistan Liberation Force under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

While banning the outfit, the government said that it believes that the KLF is involved in terror activities and has also committed and participated in acts of terror in India. The members of this outfit were getting support both financially and logistically from abroad, the government said.

The KLF was added as the 40th entry in First Schedule of the UAPA that lists terror outfits. The order was passed under Section 35 of the UAPA.

The order came in the wake of heightened activity by Khalistan forces, who have given a clarion call for Referendum 2020. This is a referendum to separate Punjab from India and for this purpose these groups have sought the help of the ISI.

In the past few months several outfits such as the Babbar Khalsa, Khalistan Liberation Force, Khalistan Zindabad Force, ISYF and Khalistan Commando Force have come under the scanner. A meeting at the Nankana Sahib in Pakistan between these elements and the ISI also came under the scanner.

Further it also came to light that the Babbar Khalsa and the Lashkar-e-Tayiba shared a common office outside the Nankana Sahib.

The ISI had also gone ahead and set up the Pakistan Sikh Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee. The formation of this committee increased the interaction between the pro-Khalistani forces. Pakistan also went a step ahead and liberalised the visas for these persons.

Referendum 2020: Action against Khalistan sympathiser SJF was need of the hourReferendum 2020: Action against Khalistan sympathiser SJF was need of the hour

In this context, it would also be important to mention that the Sikhs for Justice proposes to sponsor the pilgrimage of several Sikhs to Pakistan next year. The SJF, which is a pro-Khalistan organisation which works in Canada, Europe and UK had recently promoted the London Declaration of the Referendum 2020.

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The SJF had planned to fund the visit of nearly a lakh Sikh pilgrims to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. The agencies in India believe that the ISI would try and propagate among the pilgrims the need for a pro-Khalistan movement.

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