What is Sikhs for Justice (SFJ)?

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May 7, 2024

What is Sikhs for Justice (SFJ)?

Why in news? Delhi Lieutenant-Governor V K Saxena has recommended a National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe against jailed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for allegedly receiving political funding from Sikhs for Justice (SFJ).

The World Hindu Federation, a diaspora-based Hindu advocacy organisation has alleged that Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party received $16 million from SFJ for “facilitating the release of Devinder Pal Bhullar and espousing pro-Khalistani sentiments”.

 What is Sikhs for Justice (SFJ)?

  • It was formed in 2007, a US-based group seeking a separate homeland for Sikhs — a “Khalistan” in Punjab.
  • Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a law graduate from Panjab University and currently an attorney at law in the US, is the face of SFJ and its legal adviser. The secessionist campaign, called ‘Referendum 2020’, seeks to “liberate Punjab from Indian occupation”.
  • In Pannun’s words, “SFJ in its London Declaration [in August 2018] has announced to hold the first ever non-binding referendum among the global Sikh community on the question of secession from India and re-establishing Punjab as an independent country.

SFJ is banned in India:

  • India refers to Pannun as a terrorist, and has banned SFJ under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The Home Ministry’s 2019 notification issuing the ban says: “In the garb of the so-called referendum for Sikhs, SFJ is actually espousing secessionism and militant ideology in Punjab, while operating from safe havens on foreign soils and actively supported by inimical forces in other countries.”
  • Currently, almost a dozen cases are registered against Pannun and SFJ in India.

The Pakistan link

  • Punjab Police have said SFJ and ‘Referendum 2020’ are supported by Pakistan. Intelligence officials said the websites of SFJ share their domain with and source content from a Karachi-based website.
  • Pannun himself had issued a statement, which is a part of the Punjab Police dossier, where he had called upon Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan to politically support ‘Referendum 2020’, citing the “fall of Dhaka in December 1971 with the intervention of Indian army” and urging Pakistan to “undo its failure to support Sikhs” during the events of 1984.


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What is Sikhs for Justice (SFJ)? | Vaid ICS Institute