THE IANS and other Indian media report from New Delhi that on Thursday India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a chargesheet against Hardeep Singh Nijjar, originally a resident of Jalandhar in Punjab, now residing in Surrey, Canada, for his alleged involvement in terrorist activities in India.
He was chargesheeted under the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act before the NIA Special Court in New Delhi.
As reported in The VOICE previously, Nijjar has said several times over the years that he has nothing do with terrorist activities and is only exercising his right to freedom of speech in Canada.
In 2018, the Sikhs for Justice organization in North America said that lawyer Gurpatwant S Pannun would defend Nijjar. Pannun tweeted at the time: “SFJ To Defend – Nijjar is termed as “terrorist” and framed in false criminal cases only because he is engaged in a political campaign for a referendum in Indian occupied Punjab. “We will defend Nijjar against any attempt to extradite him to India.””
(According to legalservicesindia.com, “A charge sheet is distinct from the First Information Report (FIR), which is the core document that describes a crime that has been committed. It usually refers to one or more FIRs and charges an individual or organization for (some or all of) the crimes specified in those FIR(s). Once the charge sheet has been submitted to a court of law, prosecution proceedings against the accused begin in the judicial system.”)
The case pertains to a conspiracy allegedly hatched by Nijjar of the proscribed terrorist organization Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and others to carry out terrorist acts in India.
The NIA alleges that Nijjar used to send funds to India through various Money Transfer Service Scheme (MTSS) services and hawala channels for developing a network of sympathizers for undertaking targeted killings in Punjab and was trying to arrange arms and ammunition from his Pakistan-based associates for executing his plans. He is also associated with ‘Sikhs For Justice’ and has been trying to radicalize the Sikh community across the world in favour of the creation of ‘Khalistan’.
He has also been accused of trying to incite Sikhs to vote for secession, agitate against the Government of India and carry out violent activities, through various posts, audio messages and videos posted on social media.
He has been designated a ‘terrorist’ under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the probe agency said.