Punjab Police on Friday said it has busted a secessionist module of pro-Khalistan group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) with the arrest of its three members.
Thousands of secessionist pamphlets promoting 'Sikh Referendum 2020' activities, which the banned outfit had pushed as part of its separatist agenda, have been recovered from the possession of the arrested persons during a raid conducted in Rampur village in the Khanna area of Ludhiana district, the police said in a statement.
The SFJ was banned by the central government in 2019 under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for its alleged anti-national activities.
Those arrested have been identified as Gurwinder Singh of Rampur in Khanna, Jagwinder Singh and Sukhdev Singh, both residents of Morinda in Rupnagar, police said.
Police have also booked SFJ's Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and three others, all based in the U.S., and one more person from Khanna.
“The police, in presence of duty magistrate, conducted raids in village Rampur in Khanna and recovered over 2.84 lakh pamphlets carrying referendum 2020 activities. The police also recovered one printer, spray pump and spray bottles for writing secessionist graffiti on walls, one laptop, three mobile phones and one car from their (those arrested) possession,” the statement said.
“During preliminary investigation, it has been found that the accused Gurwinder Singh was radicalised and motivated over a Youtube channel named “US Media International” being operated by J. S. Dhaliwal, who further introduced him to Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
“On Pannun's instructions, Gurwinder installed Khalistani flags on the premises of a government school in his village Rampur in Khanna,” the statement said.
It has also been revealed that the accused has till date registered around 20-25 persons for promoting “Sikh Referendum 2020” besides distributing pamphlets for different groups in the vicinity of Doraha, Ludhiana as well as providing money on the instance of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, police said.
Accused Gurwinder had also written wall graffiti, both in English and Punjabi, promoting “Sikh Referendum 2020” activities, under bridges and on signboards at various places in the stretch of Khanna to Singhu border in Delhi, they said.
On the night of August 15, he spray painted pro-Sikh Referendum 2020 and anti-Indian slogans at various places, the statement said.
For promoting secessionist activities, the accused had received huge funds from Gurpatwant Singh Pannun via human carriers, hawala and other channels, it said.
An FIR has been registered under various provisions of the IPC and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act at police station State Special Operation Cell in Mohali. Further raids are being conducted to arrest the other accused, it said.