India Today – Sikhs for Justice announces campaign in Kartarpur, move raises security concerns

Anand Patel

New Delhi – India, 09 September 2018. Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), the US-based NGO leading the secessionist movement ‘Referendum 2020’ for Punjab has announced that it will campaign during the 550th celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev birth anniversary in Kartarpur, Pakistan.

The announcement comes within days of new Pakistan government’s offer of free visa for Sikh pilgrims to visit Kartarpur Gurdwara which is the final resting place of the first Sikh Guru.

During his visit to Islamabad to participate in swearing-in ceremony of new prime minister Imran Khan, Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had divulged that the Pakistan army chief is willing to consider a corridor to Kartapur.

Last week, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had met PM Modi to discuss Kartarpur corridor issue. Union Home Ministry has already alerted Punjab government over the renewed efforts by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to revive terrorism in the state.

Legal advisor for SFJ Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in a press statement on Saturday announced that it will campaign to gather support for the referendum at Kartarpur during the celebrations.

SFJ has been under the watch of Indian security agencies after its London rally in August in support of Referendum 2020. Indian government had strongly protested against the UK government permitting SFJ to hold anti-India rally in London.

Security concerns

The announcement by SFJ to campaign during the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev in Kartarpur could raise serious security concerns for Indian and Punjab government since lakhs of Sikhs from all over the world are expected to converge at one of their most sacred pilgrim sites.

Apart from the Pakistan army’s offer of creating a corridor for the Sikh pilgrims to Kartapur which is barely 3 km from Indian border, the new Pakistan government has offered free visas for the Indian nationals for the event which will be held next year.

The anti-India NGO has announced to hold polling for referendum in major cities of North America, Europe, Australia, Middle East and Punjab.

The New Indian Express – Two Pro-Khalistan supporters charged by US authorities for attack on DSGMC chief Manjit GK

US based advocacy group Sikhs For Justice (SJF) had said the charges were not justified and accused Puneet Chandhok of instigating the attacks.

Harpreet Bajwa

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 29 August 2018. Sutter County Sherriff’s Office in California, USA has charged two pro-Khalistan supporters, Sukhwinder Singh and Gurdeep Singh for attacking Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) President and senior Shiromani Akali Dal leader Manjit GK during his visit to Yuba City Gurdwara on August 25.

US based advocacy group Sikhs For Justice (SJF) had said the charges were not justified and accused Puneet Chandhok of instigating the attacks.

“All evidence and videos show that Puneet Chandok who is close to Manjit GK instigated the violence against the Referendum 2020 campaigners who were exercising their right of protest protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

We will be defending the charges against both our campaigners since they were only protesting GK’s presence outside Yuba City Gurdwara, said Gurpatwant Singh Pannun advisor to SFJ.

SFJ in its August 27 communiqué to Kirstjen M Nielsen, Secretary Department of Homeland Security urged that visa of Manjit Singh GK should be revoked for “engaging in political propaganda on behalf of a foreign principal without registering as required under “Foreign Agents Registration Act” (22 USC Section 611(c)). S

ukhwinder and Gurdeep both residents of California are closely associated with Referendum 2020 Campaign.

The court date for the case has been set for October 15 before Sutter County Superior Court, Yuba City, California. This was the second attack on Manjit GK as earlier last week Manjit along with his family was attacked by protesters outside a TV studio in New York by pro-Khalistan supporters.

Yesterday evening US Ambassador Kenneth I Juster had a 45-minute long meeting with Shiromani Akali Dal president and former Deputy CM Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal at the party’s headquarters here.

Sukhbir discussed the issue of problems being faced by members of the Sikh community in the USA and referred to the incidence of racial attacks against them, especially in the recent times.

He specifically urged Juster to use his good office to expedite action against those guilty of an attack on the DSGMC President Manjit Singh GK during his trip to the USA. Juster assured Sukhbir that he would do all he can to ensure that justice is delivered expeditiously in the case.

Earlier leading a Akali Dal delegation Union Minster Harsimrat Kaur Badal had met US Ambassador Juster on Monday and raised the matter pertaining to attack on Manit Singh GK in California. “We met the US ambassador and he assured us action will be taken and all help will be extended,” she said then.