In a recent and concerning development, a video featuring pro-Khalistan terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun has surfaced on social media, prompting fears for the safety of Indian airline Air India. While the authenticity of the video remains unverified, Pannun is seen delivering a chilling warning to members of the Sikh community, urging them to avoid Air India flights on November 19 due to perceived threats.
November 19 holds significance as it marks the final match of the 2023 Cricket World Cup, scheduled to be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Pannun’s ominous message has led to heightened concerns about potential disruptions during this high-profile event.
Adding to the alarm, Pannun also claims that Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport will be closed on November 19 and that its name will undergo a change. These claims have left authorities and the public grappling with uncertainty and security concerns in the lead-up to the cricket World Cup final.
This recent threat video is not Pannun’s first encounter with controversy. On October 10, Pannun, who serves as the chief of the banned US-based Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) outfit, previously issued a warning to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, drawing parallels between India and the Israel-Palestine conflict. He suggested that India could potentially face a similar “reaction” if certain issues were not addressed.
In his earlier video message, Pannun stated, “People living under illegal occupation from Punjab to Palestine will react. And violence begets violence.” This comparison between two contentious global issues further fueled concerns about the potential impact of Pannun’s rhetoric on India’s stability and security.
Born in Amritsar, Pannun has been on the radar of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) since 2019 when the agency filed its first case against him. He stands accused of playing a central role in promoting and orchestrating acts of terrorism, as well as spreading fear and terror in Punjab and other parts of India through his threats and intimidation strategies.
To address the threats posed by Pannun, non-bailable arrest warrants were issued by a special NIA court on February 3, 2021. Subsequently, he was declared a “Proclaimed Offender” (PO) on November 29 of the same year. This legal status reflects the seriousness of the charges against him and the efforts to bring him to justice.
The emergence of this new threat video has raised alarm bells across India and among security agencies. It underscores the need for a comprehensive and immediate response to protect the safety and security of the Sikh community and the general public, especially with the Cricket World Cup final fast approaching.
Security agencies and law enforcement authorities are now intensifying their efforts to verify the authenticity of the video and assess the credibility of the threats. In parallel, there will be a focus on enhancing security measures and intelligence gathering to ensure a safe environment during the high-profile sporting event.
Furthermore, Pannun’s continuing influence within the pro-Khalistan movement remains a concern. His ability to use social media and other platforms to disseminate threats and promote his agenda necessitates a vigilant approach from both Indian and international security agencies.
The Indian government and law enforcement agencies are closely collaborating to address this security challenge. The safety of passengers and the general public is of paramount importance, and a comprehensive response is being formulated to mitigate any potential risks.
As the situation continues to develop, it is crucial for authorities to stay ahead of the curve by monitoring Pannun’s activities and ensuring that the necessary security measures are in place. The timely and effective response to this threat will be essential in safeguarding the safety and well-being of the Sikh community and the general public, particularly during the Cricket World Cup final on November 19.
The emergence of the threat video serves as a stark reminder of the complex and evolving security landscape that governments and law enforcement agencies must navigate in the digital age. In the face of such challenges, a coordinated, intelligence-led approach is essential to safeguarding the interests of the nation and its citizens.
Authorities and security agencies are fully engaged in addressing this threat, and further updates will be provided as the situation unfolds. The safety and security of the public remain the utmost priority, and all necessary measures will be taken to ensure that the Cricket World Cup final and other events proceed without incident.