SFJ launches 'Referendum 2020' in J&K via Canadian portal (IANS Exclusive)

Updated July 26, 2020

social social social social SFJ launches 'Referendum 2020' in J&K via Canadian portal (IANS Exclusive)
New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) A day after India welcomed Canadas decision to reject 'Referendum 2020', banned secessionist group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) on Sunday launched a portal from Canadian cyberspace to kickstart voter registration for the Khalistan Referendum in Jammu and Kashmir.

The landing page of portal www.Canada4Referendum2020.ca conspicuously displays the red and white national flag of Canada merging with Khalistan flag.

The group had used a similar Canadian portal to propagate its anti-India agenda in Delhi to demand Khalistan, a separate homeland for Sikhs in Punjab, on July 19 but it failed because of action taken by Indian law enforcement agencies.

A similar activity regarding referendum 2020 voter registration in Punjab on July 4 was also foiled by the agencies.

Getting back to back defeat, the SFJ, which was banned by the Ministry of Home Affairs in July last year for advocating 'Referendum 2020', a week ago had announced to launch the voter registration for Khalistan Referendum on July 26 to get support of people there.

The action of the group followed inputs that the Sikh community across India has rejected the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) sponsored propaganda of 'Referendum 2020'.

The Pakistani intelligence agency ISI has been backing the malicious campaign launched by the SFJ as a large number of Pakistani Twitter handles have started tweeting in favour of the so-called 'Referendum'.

Dubbing Sikhs in Kashmir as "freedom fighters and Sikh soldiers", the US-based Khalistani radical outfit has urged them to support its most infamous agenda 'Referendum 2020', which is being promoted by the group to divide India on communal lines.

Intelligence agencies then alerted that the secessionist group will launch 'Referendum 2020' voter registration in the Valley on July 26, an attempt to get the support of the estimated three lakh Sikh population residing across Jammu and Kashmir.

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, SFJ's General Counsel and key handler, had then claimed that the group would launch voter registration for Punjab Independence Referendum in Jammu and Kashmir with "Ardaas" ceremonies from Gurudwara Chhati Patshahi in Srinagar and Gurudwara Simbal Camp in Jammu on July 26.

Pannun is among the nine pro-Khalistanis who were designated as terrorists by the Indian government earlier this month. US-based terrorist Pannun has been playing a major role in the 'Referendum 2020' campaign.

Pledging the SFJ's full support to the cause of holding a UN-approved plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir, Pannun had urged the Kashmiri Sikhs to support Referendum 2020. The group claims that an "independent Khalistan will pave the way for freedom of Kashmir".

The SFJ is supported by Pakistan-based handlers to provide money and logistical support to radical Sikh elements in Punjab to carry out subversive activities. The group is headed by Avtar Singh Pannun and Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who have started advocating Khalistan as well as the online secessionist campaign for Referendum 2020.

The SFJ chose Canadian cyberspace to launch its Referendum voter registration a day after Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh welcomed the decision of Canada to reject the 'Referendum 2020', being organised by the pro-Khalistan group.

Singh had reacted to a media report quoting a spokesperson for the foreign ministry of Canada, who said, "Canada respects the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of India, and the government of Canada will not recognise the referendum."

In its response to Punjab Chief Minister, SFJ Counsel Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, as per agency reports, said that Trudeau government's statement in support of India's sovereignty and territorial integrity has no bearing at all on the Canadian Sikhs right to propagate and hold Referendum 2020 in Canada.

Calling SFJ activities constitutionally protected, Pannun said,"Canadian government did not and cannot restrict activities of referendum 2020 on Canadian soil."

The SFJ's key aide also threatened that "propagation of Khalistan Referendum from and in Canada will continue and Referendum 2020 polling across Canada will be held as per schedule in November".

The launch of voter registration in Jammu and Kashmir followed SFJ's Saturday move to activate a direct hotline from the United States to woo people in the Valley infected with COVID-19.

However, intelligence agencies claimed, they could not find any support to the SFJ's announcement which claimed to give Rs 2,000 to every novel coronavirus infected persons in the Valley irrespective of their religion.

As per information, SFJ had offered financial support for four days between July 25-28 -- an attempt to gain sympathy from residents of Jammu and Kashmir for its illegal 'Referendum 2020' agenda.

In its message to people of Jammu and Kashmir, who are affected by the coronavirus, the SFJ has asked them to contact the group at its COVID-19 Hotline via WhatsApp on +19175796400 or email at [email protected] to get the aid.

The group, experts in the security wing suggest, wants to establish its base in Jammu and Kashmir and it recently gave a call to Sikhs residing in the Valley to support its online 'Referendum 2020' campaign which it launched on Sunday.

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