WASHINGTON (Diya TV) – Indian authorities are pressing charges against Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, leader of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), after he posted a video that allegedly threatened Air India passengers. India’s National Investigation Agency says Pannun planned to impose a worldwide blockade against Air India, starting November 19th, posing a threat to global aviation.

The NIA says Pannun’s threat has triggered heightened security alerts, leading to investigations in countries serviced by Air India.

Pannun has been under the NIA’s monitoring since 2019, and labeled an ‘individual terrorist’ in 2020. 

Recently, the Indian government seized his properties in India and declared him a ‘Proclaimed Offender.’ His frequent social videos have threatened Indian diplomats all over the globe.

The Financial Times reports American authorities thwarted a plot to kill Pannun in the United States, issuing a diplomatic warning to India over concerns of its involvement. FT adds there is a federal indictment under seal in New York and one person charged in the matter is believed to have left the United States.

This revelation comes after Canada accused India of having insight into the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, chief of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), in June. Nijjar was a Canadian citizen, born in India. Canadian-Indian relations haven’t been the same since.

A Reuters report says the U.S. is treating the situation seriously, citing White House spokesperson Adrienne Watson saying “we are treating this issue with utmost seriousness, and it has been raised by the U.S. government with the Indian government, including at the senior-most levels.” 

Watson also said the Indian government “stated that activity of this nature was not their policy.”

In response to these reports, Pannun said he would “let the U.S. government respond to this threat,” adding “at this time my focus is not threats to my life but to organize American Phase of Khalistan Referendum scheduled to start from San Francisco CA on January 28, 2024, which Indian government is attempting to block.”

Pannun claims dual U.S. and Canadian citizenship and told Reuters his message was to “boycott Air India not bomb.” A look on Pannun’s personal X account reveals the alleged video threat in question released on November 4 of this year is not there and there are no posts on his account prior to October 5, 2023.

But sensitivities remain high as this case comes nearly 40 years after bombs were placed in suitcases intended for two Air India flights out of Vancouver on June 23, 1985.

One of the suitcases exploded at Narita Airport in Japan, killing two baggage handlers.

The second set of bombs brought down Air India Flight 182 near Ireland. 329 people, including 280 Canadians, died. It remains the worst act of aviation terrorism in Canada’s history, second only to 9/11 in North America.

According to the Vancouver Sun, a British Columbia Supreme Court judge and inquiry from the public determined the bombings were plotted by Babbar Khalsa, a group pushing for Khalistan. Three men were charged. Two were acquitted and a third pleaded guilty to manslaughter.