Seriously perturbed over reports of the launch of a secessionist, anti-India app by Google, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday directed his officers to take up the matter with the IT giant, even as he urged the Centre to direct the company to take down the controversial app immediately.The state government has taken up the issue with Google, said an official spokesperson, adding that, acting on the Chief Minister’s directives, DGP Punjab Dinkar Gupta is also coordinating with the central security agencies to tackle the threat triggered by the launch of the ‘2020 Sikh Referendum’ App, just ahead of the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor.The App, freely available for download on Google Play, is clearly aimed at pushing the ISI agenda of dividing the Sikh community amid the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, said the Chief Minister, demanding that the app be immediately taken off. “How and why Google allowed such an App to be uploaded by a known radical extremist group in the first place is questionable,” said the Chief Minister, expressing shock at the IT company’s irresponsible act in letting this happen. Google should remove the App from its Play store without a minute’s delay if it did not want to be perceived to be supporting an extremist group, he asserted.
The Chief Minister said the development raises serious concerns about the security threat to Punjab specifically, and to India as a whole. The timing of the launch of App indicates a patently sinister agenda by ISI to leverage the opportunity created by the Kartarpur Corridor to divide the Indian Sikh community, said Captain Amarinder, who has been repeatedly cautioning India against the ISI design behind the Pakistani decision to open the Corridor. Pointing out that the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), under whose guise the ISI has been pushing Referendum 2020, had been declared as an Unlawful Association under UAPA by the central government some months ago, the Chief Minister said the organisation’s brazen involvement in violent acts had prompted the action against it. However, with the sustained support of ISI, the SFJ continued to push its anti-India campaign, and the Google App was just the latest in the series of tools it was employing to further its agenda, he added.Underlining the need for India to stay on high alert in the light of the persistent attempts by ISI to destabilize Punjab with its secessionist activities, Captain Amarinder reiterated that extreme caution would have to be exercised on the momentous occasion of the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor. While every Sikh aspired for 'darshan' at the historic Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara, Pakistan should not try to play any games that threaten the integrity and peace of the country.