Khalistan Movement : India’s New List of Terrorists
Khalistan Movement : On July 1, Wednesday, the Union Home Ministry declared 9 individuals supporting Khalistan Movement as designated terrorists, under anti-terrorist law, under the provisions of UAPA Act. Their involvement with the Khalistan Movement has been deemed as anti-national and nefarious, posing a threat to the country’s stability.
What is the Khalistan Movement?
The Khalistan Movement is a Sikh Separatist movement, which aims at creating a separate land, a sovereign state for Sikhs, called Khalistan. The land they wish to acquire is the Punjab region, in India and Pakistan, including other areas, such as- Balochistan and Sindh in Pakistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and parts of Jammu and Kashmir, and Rajasthan in India. They declared the independent state of Khalistan on 29 April 1986.
When was Khalistan Movement Started?
Khalistan Movement was started in the year 1969 by Jagjit Singh Chohan. Jagjit Singh Chohan lost Punjab Assembly election in 1967 and then he moved to United Kingdom from where he started a campaign for the creation of Khalistan. However, The Khalistan movement in fact had its birth in the wake of the fall of the British Empire.
Khalistan Movement is majorly funded by the rich Sikh community living in Canada and United Kingdom and around the world. There are reports that the movement is heavily backed by Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI. In fact Khalistan Movement is just an eyewash to attract the young Sikh youths to join the path of terrorism.
This year, that is 2020, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) was supposed to hold a referendum for the creation of Khalistan. The referendum was known as Referendum 2020. It is reported that due to Coronavirus Pandemic, the referendum is shifted to 2022.
Khalistan Movement gained prominence is early 1980s when Punjab was rocked by terrorism under terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwala. In 1983 he along with his militant cadres occupied Golden Temple. Indian military launced Operation Blue Star and on 6th June, 1980 Bhindranwala was killed in the operation. However, this did not bring an end to terrorism in Punjab. Four months after the incident, the terrorists of Khalistan Movement killed Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The terrorists were the guards of Indira Gandhi. The terrorism in Punjab was brought to an end by 1993. Punjab police Chief KPS Gill played a major role in bringing the terrorism in Punjab to end.
India Declared Nine Khalistan Movement Actitvists as Terrorist
On July 1st, Indian Government took a major step against the Khalistan Movement. The government declared 9 Khalistani activists as terrorists. The official release read, “Reinforcing the commitment to strengthening national security and Modi Government’s policy of zero tolerance to terrorism, Union Home Ministry under the leadership of Home Minister Amit Shah today declared nine individuals as designated terrorists under provisions of UAPA Act. These individuals are involved in various acts of terrorism from across the border and from foreign soil. They have been relentless in their nefarious efforts of destabilizing the country, by trying to revive militancy in Punjab through their anti-national activities and through their support to and involvement in the Khalistan Movement”.
Who are the Nine Designated Terrorists?
1. Ranjeet Singh: Pakistan based Chief of terrorist organization, “Khalistan Zindabad Force”.
2. Lakhbir Singh: Pakistan based Chief of terrorist organization, “International Sikh Youth Federation”.
3. Wadhawa Singh Babbar: Pakistan based Chief of terrorist organization, “Babbar Khalsa International”.
4. Paramjit Singh: Pakistan based Chief of terrorist organization “Khalistan Commando Force”.
5. Gurmeet Singh Bagga: Germany based key member of terrorist organisation, “Khalistan Zindabad Force”.
6. Bhupinder Singh Bhinda: Germany based key member of terrorist organization, “Khalistan Zindabad Force”.
7. Gurpatwant Singh Pannun: USA based key member of Unlawful Association, “Sikh for Justice”.
8. Paramjit Singh: United Kingdom-based Chief of terrorist organization, “Babbar Khalsa International”.
9. Hardeep Singh Nijjar: Canada based Chief of “Khalistan Tiger Force”.
These individuals have been declared terrorists under under the provision of UAPA. Prior to the amendment of the Unlawful Prevention act of 1967, only organizations could be deemed as terrorist organizations, but the amendment in 2019 includes the provision to designate and individual as a terrorist. The first four individuals who were designated as terrorists were Dawood Ibrahim, Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, and Lakhvi.
These nine men have been designated as terrorists on the basis of their involvement in several acts of terror in India, and abroad. They tried to revive militancy in Punjab buy advertising their anti-national sentiment.