Mumbai, Dec 13: Over the past couple of months there have been several warnings issued by the Intelligence Bureau about the rise of the Khalistan movement. While the Punjab police have been kept on their toes for sometime now, there have been developments relating to the Khalistan movement in other parts of the country as well.
What has added to the credence about the rise of Khalistan terrorism is the fact that Canada has also acknowledged the threat finally. This is for the first time that under the tenure of the Justin Trudeau government, Canada has listed Khalistani extremism as the terror threat facing the country.
Khalistan terrorism has been described as a matter of concern in the 2018 Public Report on Terrorism Threat to Canada. The same was submitted by Ralph Goodale, the public safety minister.
The report said that Shia and Sikh extremism also remain of concern because while their attacks in Canada have been extremely limited, some Canadians continue to support these extremist groups, including through financing."
"Some individuals in Canada continue to support Sikh (Khalistani) extremist ideologies and movements. Violent activities in support of Khalistan had fallen since their height during 1982083 when individuals and groups conducted numerous terrorist attacks," the report also said.
The report also goes on to mention the 1985 bombing of the Air India flight 182 Kanishka which claimed 331 lives. It described the attack as the deadliest terrorist plot ever launched in Canada.
Khalistan terrorism spread:
Earlier this week, the Maharashtra ATS said that it had arrested one person over his alleged links to Khalistan groups. This arrest came following the arrest of his accomplice in Punjab earlier.
The police identified the person as Harpalsingh Pratapsingh Naik (42), a native of Mughalmajra, Ropar district, Punjab. He currently resides in Bellary in Karnataka.
Following his arrest, the police recovered one countryman pistol and five live catridges.
The police say that they have found that he has links with terrorists who want to establish Khalistan.
He is very active on social media. He has been indoctrinating youth for terrorist activities and also inciting them. One of his accomplices has been arrested in Punjab (Sirhind police station). Further investigation is going on, ATS said in a statement.
The meeting at Nankana Sahib:
Meanwhile the Indian intelligence is keeping a close watch on the activities of the ISI and the Sikhs for Justice, a pro Khalistan group. Four meetings in November were held between the ISI and SJF.
The meeting was aimed at whipping up passions and also push for the establishment of Khalistan.
Reports state that the SJF is planning to fund the visit of nearly a lakh Sikh pilgrims to Pakistan to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, which falls next year.
The worry for the agencies is that the ISI would try and propagate among the pilgrims the need for a pro Khalistan movement. The ISI would also look to evoke sentiments, the agencies believe.
The agencies also feel that the ISI and its agents would go all out to whip up passions.
This becomes necessary for both the ISI and pro-Khalistan groups as the movement has failed to generate any great mass support. While on one hand, the ISI could build a terror infrastructure, they realise that no movement would take off as desired unless and until there is mass support and sympathy among the people. In this context, all efforts would be made to utilise the pilgrimage to Pakistan, an Intelligence Bureau officer informed OneIndia.