Wed, Feb 22, 2017 | updated 04:44 PM IST

Punjab again facing threat from Khalistanis with polls round the corner

Updated: Sep 13, 2016 07:43 IST

Ludhiana/Amritsar [India], Sept. 13 (ANI): With assembly polls in Punjab round the corner, the state is now facing threats from Khalistan elements, which even though few in number, are still active and reportedly getting support from foreign-based intelligence agencies like Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Speaking exclusively to ANI, the Chairman of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) M S Bitta warned political factions in the state to protect themselves from the temptation of vote bank politics, which can be used by these foreign agencies to entice parties.

"All political parties must refrain from indulging in any kind of vote-bank politics, especially in such sensitive times when the polls are near. The ISI in Pakistan doesn't have a better moment than this to strike and make parties forget their morals, thus creating unrest," Bitta said.

Further asserting that no political parties must associate themselves with Khalistani elements whatsoever, he added that the Centre and intelligence agencies must take charge and ensure that nothing untoward happens in the state.

"You can't just leave everything on the security forces. People in the state, including politicians, must make themselves aware of the dangers Khalistani elements pose in the state with the polls nearing," Bitta said.

Meanwhile, BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh assured that information regarding the involvement of foreign agencies with radicals is there with the security agencies, and added that they are fully prepared to stop any untoward attempt by miscreants.

"No one in Punjab is going to help those radicals and Punjabis have already faced black days, and it took years to establish peace in the region," he said.

Earlier, intelligence inputs available with the Indian government had indicated that the ISI is using Sikh extremists in Canada for pro-Khalistan and anti-India activities.

Reports also suggested that Ranjit Singh Neeta of the Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) has developed a (terror) network in Canada.

News of this reported threat from Khalistani elements comes even as the Union Home Ministry, acting on a letter written by Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month, has removed 225 names from the blacklist of NRI Sikhs who are barred from travelling to India due to their alleged ties with Khalistan movement of the 80s and 90s.

According to reports appearing in the media, there were 298 NRI Sikhs names on the blacklist and this has been reduced to 73. Overall, there are around 38,000 names that figure in the blacklist, a classified document that is maintained in Indian high commissions and embassies all across the world.

In August also, the counter-intelligence unit of the Punjab Police also confirmed to media that they had busted a Khalistani module that was operating in Amritsar and nearby areas.

Three persons -- Gurpal Singh of Jalalpur Kalan in Jalandhar, Major Singh from Karnal in Haryana and Rachhpal Singh of Jalalabad,were arrested and their interrogation so far has revealed that they had links with the Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) and other foreign-based terrorists. (ANI)

Faizabad (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Feb. 22 (ANI): Continuing her tirade against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Wednesday dubbed the saffron party as the 'Bharatiya Jumla Party', while reiterating her claim that provision of reservation to the underprivileged would come to an end as soon as the BJP comes to power in Uttar Pradesh.

Full Story >>

PETA to move SC against Jallikattu, Kambala

Updated: Feb 22, 2017 16:29 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb. 22 (ANI): In a bid to put an end to the bull-taming sport of Tamil Nadu, Jallikattu, and the buffalo race of Karnataka, Kambala, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on Wednesday said it will move the Supreme Court challenging the legislation passed by the assemblies of both states for having allowed these sports.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 22 (ANI): The Delhi High Court (HC) on Wednesday reserved its stay order on the nursery admission notification of the Delhi Government and will pronounce its order on February 27.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 22 (ANI): The government has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Australia for promotion and development of cooperation in civil aviation security.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India] Feb. 22 (ANI): The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday gave its approval for signing of an agreement between India and Poland on cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.

Full Story >>

By Onkareshwar Pandey

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 22 (ANI): In order to encourage greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchange between India and Greece, Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the signing of Air Services Agreement (ASA) between the two countries.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 22 (ANI): A clash broke out between All India Students Association (AISA) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) students over cancellation of JNU student Umar Khalid's talk at Delhi University's Ramjas College.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 22 (ANI): Clashes broke out outside Delhi University's Ramjas College as student activists linked to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) protested over a college invite to controversial Jawaharlal Nehru University student Umar Khalid.

Full Story >>

Bahraich (Uttar Pradesh) [India] Feb. 22 (ANI): Expressing complete confidence in the Samajwadi Party (SP)-Congress alliance, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday said that the party with 'pedal ahead' with full speed now that it had the support of the grand old party.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb.22 (ANI): Customs Department officials on Wednesday confirmed the arrest of an Afghan national in the Terminal Three (T-3) complex of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) for carrying items that were in violation of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Full Story >>

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Feb 22 (ANI): Treading similar paths as Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh over the idea of SP- Congress alliance, his brother Shivpal Singh Yadav has now come forth with a shocker that he will not campaign for any grand old party candidate.

Full Story >>

North 24 Parganas (West Bengal) [India], Feb.22 (ANI): A fake passport racket was busted by the North 24 Parganas district police in Barasat on Wednesday.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb.22 (ANI): The Airports Authority of India is looking beyond national boundaries and interests and is undertaking newer business initiatives by exploring global aviation markets for providing consultancy, construction, management services, export services and undertaking operations abroad in relation to airports, air-navigation services, ground aids and safety services beyond national borders.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 22 (ANI): Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has come under the radar of the Opposition parties post his flamboyant tribute at the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateshwara near Tirumala.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb.22 (ANI): The cast and Producer of Bollywood movie 'Jolly LLB 2' failed to appear in the Delhi Court on Wednesday in connection with a defamation case filed by footwear company Bata India limited.

Full Story >>

Kozikhode (Kerala) [India], Feb.22 (ANI): A major fire broke out at S.M. Street located in Kerala's Kozikhode on Wednesday which is also a biggest commercial street and is popularly known as Mittai Theruvu.

Full Story >>

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Feb. 22 (ANI): The Madras High Court on Wednesday sought credible evidence to prove that the AIADMK MLAs were held captive in a resort in Kuvathoor and also the video evidence of the proceedings in the Tamil Nadu Assembly during Chief Minister's Edapadi Palaniswami's trust vote.

Full Story >>

Shurhozelie Liezietsu sworn in as Nagaland CM

Updated: Feb 22, 2017 13:22 IST

Kohima (Nagaland) [India], Feb. 22 (ANI): Naga People's Front (NPF) president Shurhozelie Liezietsu on Wednesday sworn in as the Chief Minister of Nagaland.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India] Feb. 22 (ANI): Confident of Mayawati winning the hearts of Uttar Pradesh in the Assembly Elections in Uttar Pradesh, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Wednesday asserted that the Congress-Samajwadi Party was already doomed as it was forged out of 'compulsion'.

Full Story >>