LONDON: The Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been accused of intimidating and targeting relatives of prominent pro-Khalistan leaders who left India decades ago and hold British or other nationalities.
The Sikh Federation (UK) said that families of its two prominent leaders in India have come under attack by the Indian authorities.
The UK-based pro-Khalistan group said that family homes in India of its leaders Amrik Singh, the chair of the Sikh Federation (UK), and Kuldip Singh Chaheru, the vice chair of the Sikh Federation (UK), were raided by the NIA and their family members were interrogated for many hours.
Family members of both British Sikhs have been ordered to appear before the NIA on August 7.
The Sikh Federation said that Amrik has not been to India for over 40 years and Kuldip, whose father and other close family members were tortured and killed by the Indian police, has not returned to India since more than 35 years.
The NIA last week also raided the premises of Khalsa Aid in Patiala. Similarly, families of activists linked to the Federation of Sikh Organisations (FSO), Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) and Khalsa Aid have come under attack in India by the government.
The Sikh body said: “This is outrageous. The families of others from the UK belonging to the Federation of Sikh Organisations and Sikhs For Justice in the UK, who have been targeted suggests the NIA have recently been given information about who the NIA should focus on from the UK and those who they should leave alone.
“The NIA has increasingly become desperate in recent months to silence Sikh activists abroad who remain influential and vocal in their opposition to the right-wing Indian authorities. It has been reported the NIA has been increasing pressure on the UK and Canadian Governments in particular to take tough actions against Sikh activists opposed to the right-wing Indian government and campaigning for the re-establishment of a Sikh homeland.”
The Sikh Federation said that requests by the NIA to arrest, extradite and deport activists based on fake news have been firmly rejected by both governments that have warned the Indian authorities to stop interference on their soil.
It said: “The NIA in its desperation has in recent weeks resorted to criminal activity, including assassinations and issuing on Indian television a ‘hit-list’ of Sikh activists living abroad in the hope to create a culture of fear. This ‘hot-list’ has however badly back-fired as the UK, Canadian and other governments have privately rebuked the Indian authorities.”
Three years ago, the Indian govt seized all movable and immovable properties owned by SFJ leaders Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Amritsar and Jalandhar, respectively.
Pannun’s land parcels of 46 Kanal in Village Khankot and 11 Kanal, 13.5 Marlas in Sultanwind Suburban Bhainiwal of Amritsar District were seized. Nijjar-owned 11 Kanal 13 Marlas in Village Bhar, Singhpura, Pillaur of Jalandhar District which were seized.
Two months ago Nijjar was killed by two unidentified men in Canada. The SFJ has accused the Indian intelligence of carrying out the killing over Nijjar’s campaigning for Khalistan and for the ongoing referendum in Western countries.
Last month, right-wing Hindu Youtuber and retired army officer Gaurav Arya demanded the Indian state hire hitmen to attack American Sikhs. He called on the Indian state to hire “the underworld” and “mafia” in American cities to target Khalistanis, mainly Gurpatwant Singh Pannuu who lives in America.
He also spread fake news that Pannun had died in a road hit following the killing of Nijjar but the news turned out to be fake.
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