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The police on Thursday filed a case against five persons, among them three based in US, including the legal advisor of Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), on charges of sedition and promoting enmity and criminal conspiracy, after Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh ordered a crackdown on the outfit.
The case was registered at Sohana police station after a series of provocative posters and hoardings came up at more than 40 outdoor sites across the state. Police investigations showed that the campaign, titled ‘Punjab Independence Referendum 2020’, had been managed by the Baba Hanuman Singh Enterprise agency, which was hired for the purpose by New York-based SFJ through its legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
Besides Pannun, others booked were identified as Jagdeep Singh alias Baba Jag Singh, a resident of Fatehgarh Sahib and now based in New York, and Jagjeet Singh a resident of J&K but based in New York. The two accused based in India have been identified as Gurpeet Singh, a resident of Mohali, and Harpunit Singh, a resident of Nanak Nagar, Jammu and Kashmir.
Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kuldeep Singh Chahal said the case had been registered under sections 124A (sedition) and section 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence or language ).
The SFJ had in the past pasted many posters in different places in the state in favour of Khalisatan. The members of the SFJ also uploaded some derogatory videos of Amrinder Singh.
The posters were said to be printed at D-39, Phase-V, Industrial Area in Mohali. The printing press where the posters were printed belonged to Gurpreet Singh, sources said.
The police said further investigations were in progress to uncover various financial and operational linkages between persons based in India and abroad, adding that the SFJ, backed by Khalistani forces, had been actively trying to destabilise Punjab for the past several months.