India’s anti-terror agency has filed a case against a Sikh separatist chief for threatening to not let flag service Air India function wherever on this planet, whereas warning its passengers of hazard to their lives.
The agency stated safety forces have been on alert after the threats by Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who acts as common counsel of Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a bunch campaigning to determine an impartial Sikh homeland referred to as Khalistan carved out of India.
The case against Pannun has been registered underneath varied provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 and underneath sections of the Indian Penal Code, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) stated in a press release on Monday.
“Pannun threatened that Air India wouldn’t be allowed to function on this planet … in his video messages, launched on Nov. 4,” it stated, including that he had urged Sikhs to not journey on Air India flights from Sunday, “claiming a threat to their lives”.
Reuters has not independently verified the video messages, which have been broadly shared on social media this month.
Pannun’s Sikhs for Justice group didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark despatched to an e mail deal with listed on its web site. Air India didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
India banned the SFJ as an “illegal affiliation” in 2019 and listed Pannun as an “particular person terrorist” in 2020.
Pannun is a resident of the United States, the NIA stated that yr. Media have stated he has twin citizenship of the United States and Canada. The SFJ has workplaces in Britain, Canada and the United States, it says on its web site.
The threats come as Canadian businesses examine “credible” allegations linking Indian authorities brokers to the June killing there of a Sikh separatist chief, which frayed ties between the 2 international locations. India has rejected Canada’s suspicions.
In the wake of the threats, investigations have been launched in Canada, India and another international locations the place the airline, owned by the Tata Group conglomerate, operates, the NIA stated in its assertion.
Pannun has additionally beforehand threatened to disrupt railways and thermal energy vegetation in India, the agency stated.
Interpol has rejected two requests by India to problem a purple nook discover against Pannun, the Indian Express newspaper said in October final yr.
Air India has beforehand been focused by parts, who have been blamed for a bombing in 1985 of its Boeing 747 plane flying from Canada to India that killed all 329 folks aboard off the Irish coast.
The demand for Khalistan has resurfaced many instances, though it now has little assist in India, which sees the motion as a safety threat.
A violent insurgency within the Seventies and Nineteen Eighties paralysed the northern state of Punjab, the place Sikhs are a majority, for greater than a decade.