The confiscated properties include 46 kanal agricultural land in Khankot village near Amritsar and one-fourth share of House No.2033 in Sector 15C in Chandigarh. Though Pannun is based in the US, he had inherited these properties in India.
The two properties were earlier attached following orders passed by the government in two different cases. On Saturday, these were confiscated on the court’s orders under Section 33(5) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1967, in a terror case registered by NIA on April 5, 2020. “This is the first time that the properties of an absconding accused of NIA have been confiscated under Section 33(5) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,” said an NIA official.The timing of NIA’s move is significant. It comes when India is at the receiving end of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s allegations about a “potential link” between the killing of criminal-turned-Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar and Indian agencies, something that India has rejected as “absurd”. Nijjar headed the Canada chapter of SFJ and his killing had led Pannun to threaten “retaliatory” strikes against Indian diplomats.
“Pannun has been playing a major role in promoting and commissioning terror acts and activities, and spreading fear and terror in Punjab and elsewhere in the country through his threats and intimidation tactics,” NIA said in a statement. Non-bailable warrants of arrest were issued against Pannun by an NIA court on February 3, 2021 and he was declared a ‘proclaimed offender’ on November 29, 2022.
India-Canada News: NIA Takes Action Against Khalistani Terrorist Pannu, Government Seizes Property
NIA investigations have revealed, sources said, that Pannun’s organisation, Sikhs for Justice, has been misusing cyberspace to radicalise gullible youths and instigate them to undertake terrorist activities. It had emerged that Pannun was the main handler and controller of SFJ, declared an ‘unlawful association’ by the government on July 10, 2019.
Pannun was also listed as a ‘designated individual terrorist’ by India on July 1, 2020. “He has been actively exhorting Punjab-based gangsters and youths on social media to fight for ‘an independent state of Khalistan’, challenging the sovereignty, integrity and security of the country,” said NIA.
In recent days, Pannun has been in the news for issuing blatant threats to senior Indian diplomats and government functionaries on public forums. He has since upped his bellicosity. A few days ago, he threatened Hindus in Canada for adopting a “jingoistic approach” by siding with India.
The case in which Pannun’s properties were attached on Saturday was originally registered on October 19, 2018 at Sultanwind in Amritsar (City) and later transferred to NIA. A total of 10 accused, including Pannun, have so far been chargesheeted in the case.