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UK sets up Anti-Extremist Task Force against pro-Khalistan, other extreme groups

Source : Asian News International (ANI)

UK sets up Anti-Extremist Task Force against pro-Khalistan, other extreme groups
IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson during their joint statement at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi, on Friday, April 22, 2022. (Photograph: Manvender Vashist/PTI Photo)



Pro-Khalistan and other extremist groups in the United Kingdom may face heat in the coming days. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during his visit to India, announced that the UK has set up what it calls the Anti-Extremist Task Force. In November 2021, New Delhi had conveyed its serious concerns to London about allowing banned pro-Khalistan organisation Sikhs for Justice to hold a referendum on the secession of Punjab on 31 October.

“We have a very strong view that we don’t tolerate extremist groups threatening other countries, threatening India. We’ve set up an Anti-Extremist Task Force,” Boris Johnson said.

Pro-Khalistan groups have time and again resorted to violent protests outside the High Commission of India in London. UK police had recently conducted raids against a pro-Khalistan organisation in the country. This group had organised the so-called Punjab referendum.

Pro-Khalistan groups also attempted to stoke anti-India sentiments in the garb of farmer agitation that is clearly India’s internal matter. Last year, a designated terrorist involved in acts of terrorism in India, identified as Paramjit Singh, led anti-India protests.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had made it clear in November 2021 to his UK counterpart Stephen Lovegrove that the Modi government had taken strong exception to the UK allowing a referendum on affairs of a third country by weaponising a minuscule section of the Indian diaspora. The Indian position was conveyed during the bilateral strategic dialogue on 3 November in London.

India had made it clear to the UK that there was total peace in Punjab, with radical Sikh elements failing to get even one per cent of the vote during assembly or Lok Sabha polls held every five years. The Modi government conveyed its serious concern that the UK government is turning a blind eye to the open radicalisation of the Indian diaspora by Sikh banned groups to promote their secessionist agenda.

Under the influence and support of the Pakistani deep state, the Sikh radicals have been holding protests on the three farm laws and punitively participating in anti-India activities in the UK. Despite the SFJ being a banned organisation in India since 2019 and its leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannu being declared a terrorist, the UK allowed the US-based extremist organisation to conduct an illegal referendum on the Indian Punjab.

Britain and Canada witness pro-Khalistan activism the most while many Sikh migrants from India to Australia have started it Down Under as well.

JOHNSON PROGRESSES ON EXTRADITIONS TOO

The pending extradition of economic offenders Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya came up as another issue during UK Prime Minister Johnson’s visit to India. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, the British prime minister also spoke on the extradition of the proclaimed fugitives cum economic offenders of India. “On the extradition cases, there are legal technicalities which have made it very difficult. The UK govt has ordered their extradition… We don’t welcome people who want to use our legal system to evade the law here in India,” he said.

Despite the extradition treaty between India and the United Kingdom, economic fugitives Mallya and Nirav are still in the UK and have been using technical legal provisions to evade the law in India.

Nirav Modi, a diamantaire, is facing action from Indian agencies for siphoning off Rs 11,400 crore from Punjab National Bank.

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