India seizes assets of Sikh separatist leader living in Canada amid diplomatic row

New Delhi, Sep 23 (EFE).- India’s primary anti-terrorism agency, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), has seized several properties of a prominent Sikh separatist leader currently residing in Canada.

The man is closely associated with an Indian-origin Sikh leader whose murder in Canada has resulted in a deepening diplomatic crisis between the two nations.

NIA has put up banners to announce the seizure of a house and multiple pieces of land in the northern state of Punjab.

The properties belong to Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who is the leader of the banned separatist organization Sikhs for Justice and is designated as a terrorist by India.

Images shared by the NIA confirmed the move.

“Investigations have revealed that Sikhs for Justice was misusing cyberspace to radicalise gullible youth and instigate them to undertake terrorist crimes and activities,” the agency said in a press statement.

The statement alleged that Pannu was found to be the “main handler.”

The anti-terror probe agency noted that Pannu had been actively exhorting Punjab-based gangsters and youth over the social media to fight for the cause of the independent state of Khalistan, challenging India’s sovereignty, integrity and security.

Recently, Pannun appeared in a video, urging Canadian Hindus to return to India and, according to the NIA, made threats against Indian diplomats in Canada.

Pannun is the founder of Sikhs for Justice, an organization headquartered in the United States, and the leader of the Canadian branch was Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh separatist leader of Indian origin with Canadian citizenship who was assassinated in June.

The murder on Canadian soil triggered an international crisis with India.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday that he had credible information suggesting possible involvement of Indian government agents in the assassination.

Trudeau has since repeated the allegations, leading to a severe diplomatic crisis with India.

India issued a travel advisory for its citizens in Canada, suspended visas for Canadians, and requested Ottawa to reduce its diplomatic mission in New Delhi.

Canada and India have expelled a senior diplomats from their respective countries. EFE


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