Published 12:13 IST, May 7th 2024

Why ‘Sikhs For Justice’ That Allegedly Funded Kejriwal’s AAP Was Banned

The ‘Sikhs for Justice (SFJ)’, is a fringe outfit based in the United States and headed by the New York-based Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

Reported by: Abhishek Tiwari
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'Sikhs for Justice' | Image: social media

New Delhi: More trouble seems to be mounting for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as Delhi Lieutenant-Governor VK Saxena on Monday recommended a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against Kejriwal for allegedly receiving political funding from banned extremist outfit ‘Sikhs for Justice’. The recommendation by the Delhi LG has come up based on a complaint filed against the ruling AAP for allegedly receiving US Dollar 16 million from the pro-Khalistan group for facilitating the release of Devendra Pal Bhullar and espousing the Pro-Khalistani sentiments. World Hindu Federation India’s Ashoo Mongia had filed the complaint in this regard.

The latest development, meanwhile, appears to be deepening the potential challenges for the AAP ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in Delhi. Not only this, it may cause further troubles for the Delhi chief minister, who is already lodged in Tihar jail after he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case pertaining to the Delhi liquor policy scam case.


Meanwhile, alleged suspicious funding by the ‘Sikhs for Justice’, has brought the banned terrorist organization in the spotlight amid the ongoing political contest in India. Let us know all about the terror outfit ‘Sikhs for Justice’.

About ‘Sikhs for Justice’

The ‘Sikhs for Justice (SFJ)’, is a fringe outfit, run by a few radical Sikhs based on foreign soil, mostly in the United States (US), Canada and the United Kingdom (UK), headed by the New York-based Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. The people belonging to the group also possess foreign nationality.


The NIA has been probing the matter related to the SFJ and had revealed that the group attempted to radicalise Indian youth to commit acts of terror.

Indian Govt Banned the Outfit in 2019

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the Centre had banned the terror outfit in 2019 for its anti-India activities. The central government in its notification on July 10, 2019, had deemed the SFJ as an unlawful outfit under the provisions of Section 3(1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.


The Government of India, banning the SFJ, had said that the terror organization’s primary objective was to establish an independent and sovereign country in Punjab. The Centre also added that the Sikhs for Justice openly espouses the cause of Khalistan and in that process, challenges the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India. The ban was later upheld by the Delhi High Court.

Who is Gurpatwant Singh Pannun?

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun is a US citizen who works as the general counsel of Sikhs for Justice. The pro-Khalistan lawyer has been a key organizer of nonbinding referendums that seek a separate Sikh state called ‘Khalistan’, which are held in countries with large Indian diasporas such as Canada, the UK and Australia.


Pannun was born in Khankot village on the outskirts of Punjab’s Amritsar. He is believed to have graduated from Punjab University in the 1990s and founded the outfit in 2007. SFJ, the New York-based organization, advocates for an independent Sikh state called ‘Khalistan’ to be carved out of India.

The Indian government, a year after putting a ban on the SFJ in 2019, declared Gurpatwant Singh Pannun as an "individual terrorist" under the UAPA for promoting secessionism and allegedly encouraging Punjabi Sikh youth to take up arms.



19:56 IST, May 6th 2024