SFJ defends Canadian Sikh separatists' threat to Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and Khalistan floats during Khalsa Day parade
US-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) on Tuesday called it a nefarious attempt to curb Canadian Sikh separatists' freedom of expression.
CHANDIGARH: Responding to India's complaint to the Canadian government regarding an open threat issued to Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh by pro-Khalistan supporters during the Khalsa Day parade in Canada, US-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) on Tuesday called it a nefarious attempt to curb Canadian Sikh separatists' freedom of expression.
SFJ on Tuesday stated that Canadian Sikhs have a constitutionally protected right to express any political opinion, no matter how discomforting it may be for the Indian government, including propagating the idea of the Sikh homeland- Khalistan.
At the Khalsa Day parade on April 22 in Surrey, BC, thousands of Sikh participants followed the Khalistan float with images of slain terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and other militants who were killed during the Punjab militancy.
During the parade, pro-Khalistan elements had issued open threats to Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh and displayed pictures of Kalashnikov rifles and photographs of former and serving army and police officers who are on the Sikh radicals’ hit-list.
The Indian High Commission in Canada last week had lodged a formal complaint to Global Affairs-Canada’s foreign office.
Calling India's complaint against SFJ to Global Affairs Canada frivolous, attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ claimed, "Separatism is not terrorism and SFJ always works within the law".
"Amarinder Singh is a human rights violator as per international laws and we are waiting for him to be in Canada, America or the European Union so that we can hold him accountable and prosecute him for crimes against humanity,’’ said Pannun.
In April 2016, SFJ blocked Capt Amarinder Singh from addressing public rallies in Canada by initiating a “private prosecution” seeking an arrest warrant against him for his alleged culpability in the torture of Sikhs in Punjab, during his tenure as chief minister in 2002.
When Canadian defence minister Harjit Singh Sajjan recently visited India and toured Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh had refused to meet him, dubbing him and other Punjabi-origin ministers in the Canadian cabinet as `Khalistani sympathisers.’