In SC, Govt echoes what some in BJP said: ‘Khalistani’ presence

The government on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that there was a “Khalistani infiltration” into the ongoing farmers’ protests in Delhi, endorsing officially for the first time a narrative that was generated on social media and later repeated by some leaders of the ruling BJP.

During the hearing on the farmers’ protests, senior advocate P S Narasimha, appearing for one of the intervenors, said its application said that groups such as the proscribed Sikhs for Justice were collecting money to fund the protests. Chief Justice of India S A Bobde referred this to Attorney General K K Venugopal and asked whether he can confirm or deny the charge.

“We have been informed there is a Khalistani infiltration in the process,” said AG Venugopal. The court then asked him to file an affidavit on Wednesday to confirm what he submitted, to which he agreed.

Before this admission in court, several BJP politicians over the past two months have alleged involvement of Khalistani elements in the protests. Cabinet Ministers Ravishankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal and Narendra Tomar have also used terms such as “Maoists” and “Tukde Tukde Gang”.

Incidentally, two top ministers — Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Amit Shah — have disapproved some of these comments.

Allegations of Khalistani infiltration into the farmers protests began in November, first appearing on social media.

On November 30,…

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