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Government blocks 40 websites of pro-Khalistan group, stops 'Referendum 2020’ 

The "Sikhs For Justice”, a pro-khalistan group was registering supporters for its demand for Khalistan.

Jul 6, 2020 12:44 IST
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The Government on July 5, 2020 blocked forty websites of pro-Khalistan group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) and foiled its attempt to register voters to support its cause. The Home Ministry had recommended blocking the websites.

The "Sikhs For Justice” is an unlawful organisation that was set up under the UAPA 1967. The pro-khalistan group was registering supporters for its case. On Home Ministry’s recommendation, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued orders under Section 69A of the IT Act, 2000 to block the 40 websites. 

The group was registering supporters for 'Referendum 2020' to support its demand for Khalistan, a separate state for Sikhs.

Key Highlights 

•  The "Sikhs For Justice” group had launched the voter registration for its Referendum in Punjab through a Russian portal. 

•  The pro-khalistan group launched the campaign on July 4, 2020 in the memory of the Sikhs who were killed during the 1955 attack at Darbar Sahib.

•  The group appealed to the people aged 18 or above from any religion in Punjab as well as Sikhs living anywhere else in India to vote in support. 

•  There was a three-step registration process to register one’s vote and sign up to receive updates about the ‘Referendum 2020’. The detailed information regarding the voting process was put up in English and Punjabi languages on the Russia-based website. 

Background 

The pro-khalistan group’s lead campaigner, Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, was declared as a terrorist on July 1, 2020 by the Union government under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The Ministry of Home Affairs had declared seven others as terrorists too- including Wadhawa Singh Babbar Khalsa International’s Babbar, International Sikh Youth Federation’s Lakhbir Singh, Germany-based Khalistan Zindabad Force’s Bhupinder Singh Bhinda, Ranjit Singh and Gurmit Singh Bagga, Khalistan Commando Force’s Paramjit Singh, Khalistan Tiger Force’s Hardip Singh Nijjar and UK-based Babbar Khalsa International’s Paramjit Singh.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is the nodal authority for monitoring India’s cyberspace. The SFJ was banned by Home Ministry earlier for its alleged anti-national activities.

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