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The silence on an anti-India rhetoric by Khalistan forces will bite the West sooner than it thinks

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New Delhi, Nov 16: The announcement made by Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the chief of the proscribed Sikhs For Justice (SJF), that the next round of the Khalistan referendum would be in Canberra, Australia only goes on to show how the movement is spreading overseas.

While in India, the Khalistan movement has largely been controlled, thanks to the zero-tolerance policy towards terror by the Narendra Modi led government, concerns remain about its spread abroad.

The silence on an anti-India rhetoric by Khalistan forces will bite the West sooner than it thinks

The rise and rise:

An Intelligence Bureau official explains to OneIndia that the problem lies with those countries who have allowed the SJF and its affiliates to operate freely and carry out anti-India activities. India has repeatedly told these countries to rein in these outfits, but little has been done.

In countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States there is a sizeable Sikh diaspora and here outfits such as the SJF have been allowed to carry out anti-India activities freely, the official cited above also said.

Yet another anti-India act reported from Canada and the Khalistan connection isn’t surprising Yet another anti-India act reported from Canada and the Khalistan connection isn’t surprising

While India has been able to largely contain the rise of the Khalistan forces in the country, there have been some incidents courtesy the calls given by the SJF. Be it the rocket-propelled grenade attack on the Punjab Police's Intelligence Wing headquarters, installing of Khalistan flags at the entrance of the Himachal Pradesh assembly in Dharamsala, assassination threats to several Chief Ministers, all have been linked to the calls given by the SJF chief, Pannun from foreign soil.

Not understanding the gravity:

Another official said that the West does not seem to understand the gravity of the situation. Recently the Interpol rejected a request by India to issue a Red Notice against Pannun. The official said that the West feels that coming down on such things would amount to violation of the freedom of expression.

India has quite often cautioned these countries about the gravity of the situation. While these activities by the pro-Khalistan elements have had very less effect in India, in the long run, it will be these Western countries which would regret, the officer explained. Canada has been cautioned repeatedly over the rise of the SJF and does very less to rein in the problem as a result of which this issue has become an irritant when it comes to ties with India, the official also explained.

The lack of an India base:

The return of the Khalistan movement in India has been in the making for long now. Most of the top Khalistan terrorists who were driven out of India by the K P S Gill led police force in Punjab took shelter in Pakistan. Since the past 15 years, there have been repeated instances of these elements trying to make a comeback but the vigilant and strong Indian force has prevented that. Credit also should be given to the people who have not let these elements dominate the narrative.

West's dubious stand on Khalistan is worrisome for India West's dubious stand on Khalistan is worrisome for India

After trying for long, these elements decided that they would take the foreign route. They set up bases in Canada and the UK and have been carrying out anti-India propaganda from there. To carry out these activities, they are being funded heavily by Pakistan's ISI.

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Experts explain that the West is not understanding the gravity. The heckling of the Brampton Mayor, Patrick Brown at a temple and the vote on a referendum in the Canadian city of Mississauga are turning out to be internal security threats. These elements would in turn carry out attacks in those countries, if they continue to keep failing in their objective in India.

The cases against the SJF:

Pannun has been booked in 22 cases, including terrorism and sedition. He was booked by the Punjab Police after activists of the SJF wrote a pro-Khalistan slogan on a glass box covering the statue of slain Chief Minister Beant Singh in Jalandhar.

Pannun was also booked by the Himachal Pradesh police under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) after activists of the SJF hoisted Khalistan flags outside the state's Assembly complex.

The Indian agencies, on the other hand, continue to remain alert to any pro-Khalistan activity in India and have till date been successful in wading off any major threat. The agencies are fully aware that between 1981 and 1992, 1,792 brave police personnel in Punjab had laid down their lives before terrorism was completely eradicated from the state.

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