August 3, 2021 7:35:28 pm
A National Investigation Agency (NIA) special court in Mohali on Monday declared the head of Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, and one of his aides, as Proclaimed Offenders (PO) in a sedition case.
NIA court special judge, Karunesh Kumar, Monday passed an order declaring Pannu and his aide, Harpreet Singh Rana, as Proclaimed Offenders.
The court ordered, “The case is fixed for awaiting the appearance of the accused Gurpatwant Singh Pannu and Harpreet Singh Rana. However, neither of the accused have surrendered before the court nor have they been produced by the police. A statutory period of 30 days has already lapsed from the date of execution of the proclamation. As such, both the accused are hereby declared as Proclaimed Offenders.”
The court also ordered that the concerned police station be intimated about its decision and fixed August 23 as the next date of hearing in the case.
The court further ordered that the production warrants of accused Inderjeet Singh, Jaspal Singh, Akashdeep Singh, and Jagwinder Singh, be also issued for August 23 with direction to the superintendent of the concerned jail to produce the accused in court on the date fixed.
Punjab police had booked Pannu and Rana, along with some other people, at Sultanwind police station in Amritsar district for propagating ‘Referendum 20-20’— a campaign seeking a separate Sikh state by USA-based Sikhs for Justice, the organisation being led by Pannu. A case was registered in October 2018.
In 2020, the NIA took over the investigations from the Punjab police and registered a separate case.
The NIA stated in its new FIR that the module had been motivated by one Javed Khan, an ISI handler based in Pakistan, for conduction subversive activities and pasting of Khalistan/ Referendum-20-20 posters/banners at different locations in Punjab and New Delhi.
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