Punjab Congress leader urges Indian Prime Minister to raise issue of terrorist threats with UK authorities

“Canada, Germany, the US, the UK and Italy, …  appeared to have become terror hubs for radical organisations” 

 

Jagtar Singh Johal in custody in Punjab.

Chandigarh (PTI): Expressing concern over alleged threats from UK-based radical and militant groups to the Punjab chief minister and government officials, state Congress President Sunil Jakhar has urged the prime minister to take up the matter with British authorities.

Given the serious security implications of the issue, not just for Punjab but for the nation as a whole, the Centre should raise it with the UK government, he said in a statement on Friday.

Jakhar has urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to personally intervene and put pressure on the UK government “to crack down on all such anti-India elements that have been using British soil to unleash anti-Punjab and anti-India propaganda”.

“In the absence of any check on their nefarious activities by UK authorities, these forces had escalated their campaign to disrupt the peace and harmony of Punjab and destabilise India,” he said.

“The prime minister should question UK authorities about the misuse of the country’s soil for carrying out terror activities by pro-Khalistani and other radical elements to destroy India’s stability,” Jakhar said.

The Congress leader said that any delay or laxity in this regard would cost India heavily.

Punjab’s destruction would lead to the destabilisation of the entire nation and any attempts to do so needed to be nipped in the bud, he said.

Jakhar, who is a Congress MP from Gurdaspur, underlined the need for the central government to be more proactive in dealing with these elements, “which were fast spreading their network across various countries outside Indian borders”.

“It is time the Centre came out with a strong diplomatic response to countries such as Canada, Germany, the US, the UK and Italy, which appeared to have become terror hubs for radical organisations engaged in spreading misinformation and negative propaganda about India,” he said.

Jakhar said that the recent arrests of terrorists involved in various cases, including the targeted killings in Punjab, “clearly showed a highly dangerous pattern of international shores being used by such outfits to carry out their anti-India activities”.

Citing the example of UK citizen Jagtar Singh Johal, the Punjab Congress president claimed that militants and their sympathisers, as well as radical elements based in Britain and other western countries had launched “a false, slanderous and orchestrated media campaign against the Punjab government and police”.

“Death threats are being issued against the chief minister, the state DGP [Director General of Police] and others from British soil,” he said, claimed that these threats were being made through phone, WhatsApp and various social media.

UK national Jagtar Singh Johal was arrested from Jalandhar recently in connection with targeted killings in Punjab. Five incidents of targeted killings had taken place in the state between April 2016 and February 2017.

A week ago, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had rejected the allegations of “torture” of the British citizen, a day after the UK government said it would take “extreme action” if any British citizen was being “tortured”.

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