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Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. (File photo)
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. (File photo)

Punjab CM hails Centre's decision to ban Sikhs for Justice

ANI | Updated: Jul 10, 2019 20:28 IST

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], July 10 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday hailed the Centre's decision to ban Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) as an unlawful association, describing it as the first step towards protecting the nation from the anti-India and secessionist designs of the ISI-backed organisation.
"Though the outfit deserved to be treated as a terrorist organisation, the Government of India had at least taken a long-overdue stand against SFJ, which had unleashed a wave of terror in Punjab in recent years," he said in a statement.
"With this step, the Centre had finally shown its much-needed intent to crack down on the organisation, which was overtly being backed by Pakistan's ISI in its conspiratorial campaign over 'Sikh Referendum 2020', launched in 2014," the chief minister said.
He, however, asserted that the central government would have to take more proactive measures to aggressively crack down on SFJ and its affiliates/operatives in the interest of national security.
Calling for an all-out war against the organisation, he said, "SFJ's activities went beyond being `unlawful' and posed a major threat to the very existence of our nation. The recent years had seen blatant attempts by SFJ to radicalise, fund and motivate some poor and gullible youth of Punjab into committing acts of arson and violence."
The outfit had also been making efforts to enlist the support of gangsters and radicals in Punjab and exhorting them to fight for the 'liberation of Punjab' from the Indian government, Singh said
The chief minister urged Akali leaders to refrain from playing "petty politics" over it, and instead to join the government in fighting and eliminating the menace. "The Akali leaders seemed to be willfully ignoring the vicious agenda of SFJ, showing how little they cared about the interests of Punjab and its people," he said.
He also exhorted the global community to support India's efforts to understand and counter the SFJ's secessionist and violent agenda and game plan, which had been cleverly shrouded behind a supposedly non-violent referendum campaign.
"Any country allowing SFJ to use its soil for destabilising India would also suffer the consequences of such an act as no nation could remain unaffected as a result of supporting terror or violence against another," he added.
Singh also mentioned the incident wherein some SFJ activists were seen wearing T-shirts of ''Referendum 2020'' and waving the ''Khalistani'' flag at the World Cup Cricket match between India and England at Edgbaston, Birmingham.
"More recently, a strong nexus between SFJ and Kashmiri separatists had come to light, suggesting a wider net that goes beyond Punjab, with serious repercussions for national security," the chief minister said.
What had so far been exposed was only the tip of the iceberg, said, adding, "The SFJ evil goes deep and needs to be eliminated from its roots for the protection and preservation of the national security and territorial integrity safety of India, particularly Punjab."
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday declared "Sikhs for Justice" as an unlawful association under provision 3(1) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967, sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs said. (ANI)