Chandigarh: Tightening its noose around the Canada-based pro-Khalistan extremist Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday seized his properties in Amritsar and Chandigarh.
The action was taken under the relevant sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against Pannu, who is a "designated terrorist" and founder of banned Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) outfit, by the Union Home ministry.
The NIA teams which reached Pannu’s village in Punjab’s Amritsar district as well as Chandigarh here, in the morning seized his properties and put up the notices pertaining to the confiscation of the same.
Notice in Chandigarh
The confiscation notice outside Pannu’s house in Sector 15-C of Chandigarh read: "1/4th share of house no 2033, Sector 15-C, Chandigarh, owned by Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, a proclaimed offender in NIA case RC- 19/2020/NIA/DLI, stands confiscated to the state under section 33(5) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 by orders of the NIA special court, SAS Nagar, Mohali, Punjab, Dated 14/09/2023. This is for information of general public."
Notice in Amritsar
Likewise, a farmland owned by Pannu was also seized and a similar notice was put up at village Khankot in Amritsar district which read: "Total area 147-4 situated at village Khankot, Amritsar, owned by Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, a proclaimed offender in NIA case-19/2020/NIA/DLI, stands confiscated to the state under under section 33(5) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 by the orders of the NIA special court, SAS Nagar, Mohali, Punjab. This is for information of general public."
Background on Farmland Seizure
According to media reports, 46 kanals of the farmland belonging to Pannu was seized by the NIA in connection with a terror case registered against him in 2020. The reports said that Pannu’s father Mohinder Singh Pannu who initially lived in a village of Tarn Taran district before the Partition, had shifted to the said Khankot village later.
Amid Souring Diplomatic Ties
Pertinently, the NIA action came amid the souring diplomatic ties between Ottawa and New Delhi, especially after the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar by some known assailants in British Columbia in June, 2023. For the record, Pannu has been running campaigns against India and provoking Sikh youths in Punjab to join militancy.
Moreover, he has also organised the so-called Khalistan referendum seeking support from Sikhs across the world to vote on whether Punjab should become an independent nation on the basis of religion.