Is Sikhs for Justice funding the farmer protest? NIA team in Canada to dig deeper
New Delhi, Nov 08: A team of the National Investigation Agency will press for the execution of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty for faster sharing of information relating to anti-India activities by the pro Khalistan outfits.
A team of the NIA reached Canada on Friday to probe the funding routes for pro-Khalistan groups which have been instrumental in creating unrest in India. The NIA team also discussed with Canadian authorities the findings of the probe against terror groups such as the Babbar Khalsa International, Khalistan Zindabad Force, Sikhs for Justice and Khalistan Tiger Force.
Earlier this year the NIA widened the ambit of its probe in connection with the Sikhs for Justice (SJF). Sources tell OneIndia that there have been a lot of funds that have been channelised in the past couple of months. Over USD 1 lakh has been collected in the name of the farmer protests, the official cited above said.
The source further added that the agencies are looking into the source of funding. While there is no harm in collecting funds in the name of the protests, the NIA is looking to find if money is being collected in the name of the protests, but is being diverted to fund separatist activities of the SJF.
The probe was ordered after the SJF, a proscribed organisation arranged protests in front of Indian missions abroad. After the financial trail was found the ambit of the probe was widened.
The probe was handed over the NIA after the foreign nations where the protests were organised did not take action. The NIA after a recent amendment has foreign jurisdiction and hence was handed over the probe. Investigations have found that funds have been coming in from Canada, US and UK. The official cited above said that this money is being collected by the SJF in the name of the protests. However not all is going towards the protests. A good part of it is being diverted towards subversive and propaganda activities of the SJF.
While the farmer unions have decried this action, an Ministry of Home Affairs official said that if funds are coming from abroad, then the agencies have every right to known the source of the same.
The NIA had on December 15 filed a fresh FIR. In it the agency said that the SJF was sending foreign funds through NGOs to pro-Khalistani elements for on ground campaign and propaganda against the Government of India.
An NIA officer said that so far they had summoned 40 persons as witnesses in connection with the SJF case. The NIA is also examining the role of the Khalsa Aid, which had recently provided foot massagers to the farmers who are sitting in protest against the three farm laws.