SFJ woos Punjab farmers with hiked grants ahead of ‘Referendum 2020’

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IANS

New Delhi

Undeterred by the attachment of properties of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) key leaders — Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and Hardeep Singh Nijjar — the banned outfit is now offering Rs 3,500 each as grant to woo Punjab farmers ahead of its anti-India campaign ‘Referendum-2020’, intelligence sources have
said.

The US-based secessionist group has announced to provide the money on a monthly basis to each of the Punjab farmers who have defaulted on agricultural loans, as part of its strategy to get their support for ‘Referendum-2020’ campaign now planned to be held in November.

Intelligence agencies as well as National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing cases against the SFJ, got the inputs on the grant offer for farmers a day after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) ordered the attachment of immovable properties of Pannun in district Amritsar and Nijjar in district Jalandhar of Punjab.

The SFJ revised its earlier announcement under which Punjab farmers with up to five acres of land were to get Rs 3,000 each to help them repay their agricultural loans.

Reiterating the SJF’s commitment to work for secession of Punjab, SFJ General Counsel Pannun said: “India can take my land but will not be able to stop the Referendum 2020.” Earlier, the SFJ had also cautioned Union Rail Minister Piyush Goyal not to run trains in Punjab, giving a call for ‘Rail Roko’ in the Indian Punjab on September 13.

In an email to the Minister, the SFJ claimed to highlight the “Indian’s government’s criminal negligence towards increasing farmer suicides in Punjab due to agricultural loans”.

In exercise of the powers conferred under Section 51A of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, the MHA on Tuesday ordered the attachment of immovable properties of Pannun and Nijjar for their role in SFJ’s campaign under the banner of ‘Referendum 2020’ for the creation of ‘Khalistan’.

Based on the NIA’s recommendation, the MHA had ordered the attachment of Pannun’s 46 kanals of land in Khankot village in Amritsar and 11 kanals and 13.5 marlas in Sultanwind suburban in Bhainiwal area in the same district. Nijjar’s 11 kanals and 13 marlas of land in Bhar village in Jalandhar’s Singhpura was also confiscated.