Farmer Protest: 40 People Summoned Are Witnesses, NIA Clarifies
NIA had filed a case on 15 December probing the funding of alleged Khalistani terrorist groups.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has clarified that the seven people associated with the farmers’ protests, were questioned as “witnesses” and not suspects. They were questioned in connection with a case related to the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ).
In its summons sent to around 40 people, NIA said that the organisation and its affiliates “appear they are acquainted with the circumstances of this case”.
NIA had filed a case on 15 December, probing the funding of alleged Khalistani terrorist groups. NIA alleged that large amounts of funds being collected by alleged Khalistani terrorist outfits are being sent through NGOs to pro-Khalistani elements based in India.
“We have no plans to harass any activist or farm leader. We are just seeking some clarification regarding certain information we have,” one of the officers told The Hindustan Times.
Meanwhile, Balbir Singh Rajewal, a senior leader of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha said that farmers who have been served notices will not appear before the agency as a mark of protest.
The Hindu reported that the notices sent on 15 January include those that were sent to a farm leader, a TV journalist, a cable TV operator, tourist bus owner, an actor, a sweet shop owner and other businessmen.
On Sunday, Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu did not appear before the NIA, after he was summoned. In a statement to the media he said: Even though the notice asks us to appear as a witness, they have kept it open under Section 120 B IPC (criminal conspiracy). Tomorrow they might use this case to file a chargesheet against us. I am a lawyer and I can see the pressure tactics.”
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