Pro-Khalistan leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun released a fresh video on Wednesday giving a call to "picket" Air India flights on December 1 at Toronto and Vancouver international airports in Canada.
Pannun's call to target the outbound AI 188 and AI 186 flights from Terminal One comes a day after National Investigation Agency (NIA) registered a case against the banned Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) group leader over a November 4 video threatening the Indian flag carrier.
“As General Counsel to SFJ, I reaffirm my call to boycott Air India, and Modi government cannot stop SFJ from running secessionist Khalistan referendum which is the real motive behind NIA’s frivolous terror case," Pannun said in his new video.
Pannun said that his video message is a "non violent call" to “boycott” Air India, and not “bomb” it.He said that his campaign to boycott the airline will continue as "every dollar that goes to Air India and other Indian businesses is being used to perpetuate existential threat to the Sikh population in India, Pannun said.
In the video, Pannun dedicated this campaign to Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar who was gunned down outside a gurdwara in Surrey in June this year.Listed as an ‘individual terrorist’ by India in 2020, Pannun had said in his video that Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport's (IGIA) name would be changed and remain shut on November 19.
He also threatened people planning to travel via Air India airlines on that day, saying their "lives would be in danger", and that the flag carrier would not be allowed to operate in the world.NIA booked Pannun under sections 120B, 153A & 506 of the Indian Penal Code and sections 10, 13, 16, 17, 18, 18B & 20 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
An NIA spokesperson said that as part of his concerted plan to promote terror acts in India and revive terrorism here, Pannun has been creating a false narrative around the issues prevailing in Punjab, especially with regard to Sikh religion, by promoting enmity between the Sikhs in the country and other communities.
“The latest threat is in line with the same narrative, which Pannun has actively promoted in the past by threatening & attempting to disrupt essential transportation network systems, including the Railways, as well as Thermal Power Plants in India,” the spokesperson stated.
Pannun has been under the NIA’s lens since 2019, when the anti-terror agency registered its first case against him.In September 2023, the NIA had confiscated his share of the house and land of the listed terrorist in Amritsar (Punjab) and Chandigarh.
Non-bailable arrest warrants were issued against Pannun by the NIA Special Court on February 3, 2021 and he was declared a ‘Proclaimed Offender (PO)' on November 29, 2022.