The Union Home Ministry on Sunday announced that it has blocked 40 websites belonging to pro-Khalistan terror outfit Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), for supporting secessionist activities, under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) 1967.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) through its spokesperson informed that the action has been taken after the banned outfit launched a campaign to register supporters for its cause—Referendum 2020.
The official statement read: “On the recommendation of the MHA, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) has issued the orders under section 69 A of the IT Act, 2000, for blocking 40 websites of SFJ”.
The websites have been blocked under the provision of section 69A of the IT Act, which empowers the government to block public access to any URL in the “interest of sovereignty and integrity of India”, the official said. The I.T Act of 2000 provides a legal framework for electronic governance by recognizing electronic records and digital signatures. The act also defines cyber crimes and prescribes penalties.
On July 4, the UK based terror outfit had launched its online voter registration for ”Referendum 2020”– an online campaign to demand Khalistan, which seeks a separate homeland for the Sikhs. The site was launched through a Russian portal and since then the Indian government has been regularly corresponding with the Russian authorities as to how SFJ was allowed to access the stringent Russian cyberspace.
It is important to note that the MHA had in July last year banned the SFJ for advocating Referendum 2020.
The SFJ is headed by Avtar Singh Pannun and Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, of which the latter has been designated a terrorist last week by the MHA.
Apparently, SFJ has the backing of Pakistan’s notorious ISI. The terror group had also written a letter against India to the Chinese President Xi Jinping in the wake of Galwan Valley showdown–condemning ‘Modi government’s violent aggression against China’ causing death to several soldiers of China at Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The terror outfit didn’t stop here and thanked the people of China for their encouraging and supporting response to SFJ’s call to hold a non-governmental referendum 2020 for the secession of Punjab from India.
In the last one week, the MHA has been cracking down heavily on the Khalistani movement on the country. Last Wednesday, nine individuals linked to separatist Khalistani groups including four based in the neighboring country of Pakistan were designated as terrorists.
Wadhwa Singh Babbar, chief of terrorist organization Babbar Khalsa International (BKI); Lakhbir Singh, who heads terrorist organization International Sikh Youth Federation; Ranjeet Singh, chief of terrorist outfit Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZB) and Paramjit Singh, who leads Khalistan Commando Force, were some of the few Pakistani pro-Khalistan supporters dubbed as terrorists by the state.
The others named in the list were Germany-based key members of terrorist organization KZB Bhupinder Singh Bhinda and Gurmeet Singh Bagga; Hardeep Singh Nijjar: Canada based Chief of Khalistan Tiger Force, UK-based Paramjit Singh of BKI and last but not the least Gurpatwant Singh Pannu.
The Khalistan movement has been Punjab’s Achilles heel for a long time and it is in the best interest of the state and the country that the Union Government swiftly nips any unlawful activities these aforementioned terror outfits try to commit.