In a massive action and in a bid to tighten its noose around Canada-based ‘designated individual terrorist’ Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday has confiscated his two properties.
“We have confiscated two properties of Pannu in Punjab’s Amritsar and Chandigarh,” an NIA official told IANS.
The official said that the agency has confiscated properties of Pannu which include 46 Kanal of agricultural property in the ancestral village Khankot, located on the outskirts of Amritsar district.
The official also said that it has also confiscated his residential property in Sector 15 area of Chandigarh.
The agency sleuths also put the hoarding outside the property of Pannu informing him about the anti-terror probe agency’s action.
In a statement the anti-terror probe agency confirmed that it has confiscated the house and land of the self-styled General Counsel of the outlawed Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) outfit in Amritsar (Punjab) and Chandigarh UT.
The properties attached include 1/4th share of House Number 2033, Sector 15/C, Chandigarh (U.T).
The agency said that these properties were earlier attached following orders passed by the government in two different cases.
“The properties have now been confiscated on the court’s orders under section 33(5) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1967, in a case it registered on April 5, 2020, under sections 120-B, 124-A, 153-A 153-B and 17, 18 and 19 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
A NIA spokesperson here said that the action against Pannun is a big boost to the country’s crackdown on the terror and secessionist network being operated from various countries, including Canada, followed confiscation orders passed by the NIA Special Court, SAS Nagar, Mohali.
The official said that Pannu has been on NIA’s scanner since 2019, when the anti-terror agency had registered its first case against the terrorist, who has been playing a major role in promoting and commissioning terror acts and activities, and spreading fear and terror in Punjab and elsewhere in the country through his threats and intimidation tactics.
The non-bailable warrants of arrest were issued against Pannu by the NIA Special Court on February 3, 2021 and he was declared a ‘Proclaimed Offender (PO)’ on November 29 last year.
“NIA investigations have revealed that Pannu’s organisation, Sikhs for Justice, was misusing the cyberspace to radicalise gullible youth and to instigate them to undertake terrorist crimes and activities,” the spokesperson said.
It further emerged during the NIA probe that Pannu was the “main handler and controller of the SFJ”.
The SFJ was declared as an ‘Unlawful Association’ by the Government of India, vide notification on July 10, 2019.
Pannu, who was declared a ‘designated individual terrorist’ by the Government of India on July 1, 2020, has been actively exhorting Punjab-based gangsters and youth over the social media to fight for the cause of independent state of Khalistan, challenging the sovereignty, integrity and security of the country, NIA probe have shown.
The official said that in recent days, Pannu has been in the news for issuing blatant threats to senior Indian diplomats and government functionaries in public forums.
“He had also threatened Canadian Hindus a few days, asking them to leave Canada and claiming that they had adopted a ‘jingoistic approach’ by siding with India,” the NIA statement read.
The case was originally registered as FIR no. 152 on October 19, 2018 under several sections of the IPC at Sultanwind Police Station in Amritsar (City) and later transferred to the NIA.
The NIA has chargesheeted a total of 10 accused, including Pannu in the case.