Indian I&B ministry takes down apps, social media accounts linked to Sikhs for Justice

NEW DELHI: The ministry of information and broadcasting on Tuesday took down several mobile applications, social media accounts and websites of foreign-based news outlet Punjab Politics TV for having links with proscribed organisation Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), after reviewing “intelligence inputs that the channel was attempting to use online media to disturb public order during the ongoing state assembly elections”.
“The ministry of information and broadcasting has ordered blocking of apps, website, and social media accounts of foreign-based Punjab Politics TV for having close links with Sikhs For Justice, an organisation that has been declared unlawful under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA),” the ministry said.
The statement added that the contents of the blocked apps, website, and social media accounts had the “potential to incite communal disharmony and separatism”.
“[They] were found to be detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the state, and public order. It was also observed that the launch of new apps and social media accounts was timed to gain traction during the ongoing elections,” it said.
US-based SFJ leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun is already under the scanner in multiple cases of radicalisation of Sikh youths for the purpose of reviving militancy in Punjab and the creation of Khalistan under the banner – ‘Punjab Referendum 2020 for Khalistan’ – apart from organising demonstrations and on-ground campaigns outside Indian high commissions in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Germany and other countries.
He has already been declared as an “individual terrorist” under the fourth schedule of UAPA, and his properties in Punjab have been attached.
A chargesheet filed by the NIA in December 2020 against Pannun, UK-based Paramjit Singh Pamma and Canada-based Hardeep Singh Nijjar stated that SFJ, floated in the garb of ‘Human Rights advocacy group’ with its offices in various foreign countries such as the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, etc., is a frontal organisation of Khalistani terrorist groups operating from foreign soil, including Pakistan.

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