According to a report by the sources, the Interpol declined India’s plea to issue a Red Corner Notice over terrorism charges against Khalistan rebel Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. India has already asked for a Red Corner Notice to be issued.
According to the sources, the Interpol stated that they did not believe the Indian authorities had enough evidence to substantiate their claims.
People with knowledge of the situation expressed to the sources their worry over the suspected “misuse of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA)”. Under the UAPA, a Red Corner warning was requested.
According to the reports, which referenced the aforementioned individuals, Interpol acknowledged Pannun’s status as a “high-profile Sikh separatist” and the fact that the Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) organisation, which he leads, advocates for an independent Khalistan.
Despite these acknowledgments, the Interpol came to the conclusion that Pannun’s activities had a “clear political character,” and as a result, he cannot be the subject of a Red Corner Notice in accordance with the Interpol Constitution.
India received the decision in August. Following Pannun’s plea and the Indian government’s response, the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files conducted the review.
According to the sources, the Interpol committee stated that the National Central Bureau (NCB) had “insufficient information” to demonstrate the “terrorist nature of the crime” as well as Pannun’s “potential active and significant engagement in terrorist operations.”
On May 21, 2021, India submitted a Red Corner Notice request on behalf of the National Investigation Agency through the NCB (NIA).
The SFJ is still prohibited in India. In 2019, it became illegal.
An arrest warrant issued against Pannun by a Special NIA Court in Mohali in February of last year was mentioned in India’s plea. Additionally, it highlighted the NIA probe, which said that Pannun had a network through which an accomplice known as Nihal Singh alias Fateh Singh recruited and radicalised people online and encouraged them to do terrorist actions.
The letter also made clear that their objectives were to kill well-known Indian politicians and harm companies.
However, the Interpol noted that the Indian application lacked information regarding alleged connections between Pannun and Fateh Singh or other suspects in the NIA case, information regarding alleged international wire transfers and Pannun’s bank accounts, as well as information regarding his alleged involvement in terrorist acts. In addition to setting up the Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) terror network, which the Punjab police and the NIA dismantled, India has claimed that the SFJ got funds from outside.
Pannun has been designated a “terrorist” under the UAPA without being found guilty, the Interpol also said. One of the 38 terrorists listed by the UAPA is Pannun.
The NIA filed some of the cases against Pannun in Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, and 22 instances inside Punjab itself. He once attempted to raise the Khalistani flag over every Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police office in Punjab.