Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun - whose properties in Chandigarh and Amritsar were seized last week - "wants to create many countries (by) dividing India", sources told NDTV Monday.
According to the National Investigation Agency's dossier on Pannun, the head of the banned separatist group Sikhs for Justice, "has challenged the unity and integrity of India by audio messages" and "wants to create a separate country for people of Kashmir... and create a Muslim country".
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Pannun has been wanted by the NIA since 2019 for playing a major role in promoting and commissioning terrorist acts to spread fear across Punjab and the country. Investigations have also revealed the Pannun-led Sikhs For Justice "misuses cyberspace to radicalise gullible youth... instigates them to undertake terrorist activities and fight for an independent state of Khalistan".
In 2019 the Indian government banned Sikhs For Justice.
In July 2022 the Union Home Ministry declared Pannun a terrorist but Interpol twice rejected the Indian government's request to issue a Red Corner Notice, citing insufficient information.
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More recently, he threatened senior Indian diplomats and government functionaries in Canada amid the massive diplomatic row between India and Canada over the killing of another Khalistani terrorist - Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has kicked up an international fight after claiming "agents" of the Indian government killed Nijjar, who was a Canadian citizen.
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India has firmly, unequivocally and fully denied the charges.
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Who Is Gurpatwant Singh Pannun?
Pannun - also the primary accused over the appearance of 'Khalistan' banners and graffiti on the walls of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly last year - came to Amritsar in 1947, during the partition.
His family is understood to be from a village called Khankot in Pakistan. Gurpatwant Pannun's parents are dead and his brother, Magwant Singh, lives abroad. He has a degree in law from Punjab University.
The dossier on Pannun also says he "wants to seduce the Muslims (and) create a Muslim country that he wants to name as 'Democratic Republic of Urdustan', and that he is radicalising people in Jammu and Kashmir to enable the latter's separation from the Indian Union.
Cases Against Gurpatwant Singh Pannun
According to security agencies, there are a total of 16 cases against Pannun; these have been registered in Punjab, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh, as well as Haryana and Uttarakhand.
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Of the above 16 cases, nine are under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, according to the dossier on Pannun. Four of these are in Delhi, two in Punjab (one in Amritsar and another in Sirhind), a seventh in Gurugram in Haryana and an eighth in Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh.
The ninth was filed by the National Investigation Agency.
Pannun also faces nearly two dozen other cases in Punjab alone, including three of sedition.
Pannun's Criminal Activities
According to the dossier, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun has offered a reward of US$2.5 million to anyone who could hoist the Khalistani flag at India Gate.
He reportedly also offered US$1 million to any police personnel who stopped the Indian flag from being hoisted at the Red Fort on Independence Day in 2021.
He has also tried several times to get Khalistani posters and flags installed at prominent places in Punjab, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.
NIA Raids On Gurpatwant Pannun
Last week the NIA seized Pannun's home in Chandigarh and agricultural land in Amritsar; this means he has now lost all rights to these properties, which are now owned by the Government of India.