Pro-Khalistan group websites blocked

Pro-Khalistan group websites blocked

Written By: / Monday, 06 July 2020 17:27

By IT Correspondent
New Delhi, July 6:

As many as 40 websites belonging to the Sikh For Justice (SFJ), an outlawed pro-Khalistan group, based in the US, were blocked on Sunday, by the Union government for supporting secessionist activities. 
SFJ, an unlawful organisation, banned under the Unlawful Activities Prevention (UAPA) 1967, in July 2019, had launched a campaign for registering supporters for its cause. The SFJ was accused of pushing for Sikh Referendum 2020 as part of its separatist agenda and  espousing the cause of “Khalistan”, challenging the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India. SFJ was accused of arousing anti-India sentiment across the world and enticing Sikh youth to join militancy. 
SFJ, formed in 2007, is a US-based human rights advocacy group that supports freedom of Punjab from India through a referendum. The forum has been funded and headed by lawyer Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, who was booked under sedition charges by Punjab police in April this year. 
On recommendation of the Union Ministry for Home Affairs (MHA), the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology ( MEITY) issued orders under Sec. 69 A of the I.T. Act, 2000, for blocking 40 websites of SFJ, a home ministry spokesperson said. MEITY is the nodal authority for monitoring the cyber space in India. 
A gazette notification issued while banning SFJ stated that the outfit is involved in anti-national and subversive activities in Punjab and elsewhere, intended to disrupt the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India. 
Both MHA and IT ministry refused to divulge the details of websites that have been blocked. One of the key websites associated widely with the group –www.referendum2020.org— through which support from Sikh youth for a separate Khalistani state is sought by SFJ, could not be accessed since it was blocked by the Union department of telecommunications. 
The ban on SFJ was upheld by the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal headed by Delhi High Court chief justice DN Patel earlier. In its judgment issued on 6, 2020,
the tribunal said, “The notification dated 10 July, 2019 issued by the Union of India under the UAPA, declaring SFJ  to be an unlawful association is hereby confirmed. The reference is answered in the affirmative”. 
In the meanwhile Indian intelligence agencies are trying to get an Interpol red corner notice issued against Pannu, who has been designated an individual terrorist. He is said to be getting support from Pakistan for his anti-India activities.

About the Author

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]

Follow him

Leave a comment

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.