The Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry has blocked many apps, YouTube channels, websites, Instagram, and Twitter accounts used by Sikhs for Justice to spread hatred against India
After having failed to evoke any response from Punjab since its inception in 2007, the proscribed secessionist organisation Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) has been engaged in using social media to further its anti-India designs. The IB ministry has now blocked many apps, YouTube channels, websites, Instagram, and Twitter accounts used to spread hatred against India.
Whenever there is any reference to Khalistani elements the name of SFJ is at the forefront. The Ludhiana courts bomb blast in December 2021 ahead of elections in Punjab too had a connection to the SFJ. The police investigation revealed that the bomber Gagandeep Singh a dismissed policeman who was killed in the blast was funded by the SFJ. The NIA registered a case against Jaswinder Singh Multani, a member of the SFJ, the prime suspect. The German authorities had detained Multani at the Erfurt in Central Germany in early January at India's request. He has been charged with criminal conspiracy, waging war against India, and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the NIA's FIR.
Pakistan's Inter-Services-Intelligence (ISI) has been financing SFJ to promote anti-India activities. Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a law graduate from Panjab University, the founder is now based in New York. In July 2019, the government of India banned the SFJ under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for aiding and abetting terror.
SFJ in cahoots with the ISI of Pakistan had been trying to disturb peace in Punjab by funding target killings of the Hindu leaders. Many of its overground sympathisers had been arrested in Punjab. It operates from safe havens on foreign soil and is supported by anti-India elements in other countries.
According to the Ministry, the Punjab Politics TV channel was "trying to disturb public order during the legislative elections" in Punjab. The action has been taken under Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021. The contents of the blocked apps, websites, and social media accounts had the potential to incite communal disharmony and separatism.
On January 21 the I&B Ministry had issued orders blocking 35 channels on youtube which it said had 100 crore views and all spreading hatred against India. The websites shared their domain with and source content from a Karachi-based website proving the Pak connection.
The lack of support for the SFJ's motives was also evident from its anti-India campaign in 2018. The SFJ had announced to hold the first-ever non-binding referendum among the global Sikh community on the question of secession from India and re-establishing Punjab as an independent country. The polling was supposed to be done by November 2020 through a designated website. But the move evoked a poor response worldwide and the nefarious design fell through.
The SFJ had been supporting terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir calling it a freedom struggle. It had also hailed the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed. It tries to build up its cadre in the west by providing legal help to fugitives wanted by India who seek political asylum abroad. It provided legal help to UK resident Paramjit Singh Pamma who was arrested by Interpol in Portugal. It also helped Ramanjit Singh Romi the Nabha jailbreak mastermind.