The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has booked designated ‘individual terrorist’ Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, the founder of the banned outfit Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 for allegedly threatening passengers flying via Air India and the airlines itself with a global blockade and closure of operations from November 19.
The founder of Sikhs for Justice has been booked under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
He has also been charged under sections 10 (member of an unlawful association), 13 (for taking part in or committing or advocating any unlawful activity), 16 (terrorist act), 17 (funding terrorist act), 18 (conspiring or attempting to commit, or advocating, abetting, advising or inciting a terrorist act), 18B (for recruiting of any person or persons for the terrorist act) & 20 (for being a member of a terrorist gang or a terrorist organization) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
In a video released on November 4, Pannun had asked Sikhs to not fly by Air India planes on and after the said date, claiming a threat to their lives if they did so.
Security arrangements at three airports, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, and Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in Delhi, were recently stepped up after the Ministry of Home Affairs held a meeting with the multi-agency centre (MAC), a common counter-terrorism grid, and discussed the threats issued by Pannu. The Khalistan separatist had earlier released a video urging Sikhs not to fly via Air India after November 19 as their lives could be under threat.
Image source: Indian Express