Sikhs For Justice leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun was charged under the stringent anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and other offenses in connection with the Khalistani flags that were put up on the gate and walls of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly complex located in Dharamshala on Sunday.

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Pannun is an attorney based in New York and the leader of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), an organization banned by India on July 10, 2019, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for anti-national activities.

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Pannun spearheads ‘Referendum 2020’, a campaign that aims to understand if Sikhs across about 20 countries are in favour of the establishment of an autonomous Sikh state known as ‘Khalistan’.

He also has close relations with Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) head Paramjit Singh, Malkit Singh Fauji (ISYF/BKI), Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar and several other activists of the Khalistani movement.

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 Pannun has often urged several youngsters in Punjab to support his fight for an independent Sikh land. He also travelled to Catalonia, Spain, in order to study the referendum in 2017.

Pannun was declared an “individual terrorist” under the UAPA on July 1, 2020, for promoting the ideology of secessionism and urging young Sikhs to resort to arms.

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In the month of October that year, Pannun, in a video address on his TV channel, called for Indian students to put up Khalistani flags and slogans, while offering them an iPhone 12 Mini in return. He also revealed that the device would contain pre-downloaded Punjab Referendum apps and VPN to help the user easily connect with the database of SJF’s voter registration, outwitting the ban by the Government of India.