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Is Tajinder Bagga being targeted by AAP for being a Sikh leader who is outspoken against Khalistanis: Here is why it is possible

It is not a stretch to imagine that the AAP government in Punjab is trying to hunt down Bagga not because of some tweets against Kejriwal but actually because he is exactly what threatens AAP in Punjab - A proud Sikh man vocal against Khalistani terrorists and AAP's divisive politics.

On Friday (May 6), BJP spokesperson Tajinder Bagga was arrested from his residence in Delhi by the Punjab police. OpIndia had reported that a convoy of 10-12 cars, carrying 50 odd police personnel from Punjab forcibly entered the BJP leader’s house and took him away.

The cops also assaulted his aged father and did not inform Bagga about the ‘arrest warrant’. It must be mentioned that Punjab Police had earlier registered an FIR for his criticism of Arvind Kejriwal after the Delhi CM mocked ‘The Kashmir Files’ movie as a jhooti filmin the Delhi assembly.

Although the FIR was later withdrawn, it soon surfaced that the Aam Aadmi Party-run-Punjab government had constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into the ‘provocative remarks’ of Tajinder Bagga.

While speaking about the development, BJP IT Cell Chief Amit Malviya wrote, “Arvind Kejriwal’s brazen misuse of Punjab police to target political opponents is not unexpected. He had been raging for this. But this won’t go down well. We will fight to secure every single karyakarta of ours and ensure that Kejriwal learns how to handle power the hard way…”

While the AAP has been seeking refuge in the so-called ‘provocative remarks’ of Tajinder Bagga, it is important to note that the Arvind Kejriwal-led party had faced criticism in the past for harbouring Khalistani elements. Bagga, who is a Sikh by Faith and a vocal critic of the separatist movement, has often been at loggerheads with the AAP over the Khalistan issue.

Tajinder Bagga and his open criticism of Khalistan

As early as 2017, Tajinder Bagga had been vocal in his criticism of Khalistanis and its architect, terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. In a tweet dating 5 years ago, the BJP leader had said, “Jarnail Singh Bhindrawala died, his dream to make Khalistan died & Pakistan agenda to divide India too died with his death. Hail Indian Army.”

He has often mocked the idea of a ‘separate nation for Sikhs’. This becomes evident from his tweet in May last year when he said that 10 bottles of Toilet cleaners could create Khalistan.

Tajinder Bagga did not shy away from calling Bhindranwale a terrorist. While responding to Khalistani sympathiser Ravinder Singh in March, he tweeted, “Mr Ravi Singh, not a single FIR or Investigation is pending against My beloved Mr Modi but your beloved Bhindrawala is terrorist as per Indian Constitution.”

During the anti-farm law agitation, the BJP leader pointed out how pro-Khalistanis had been masquerading as ‘poor farmers’. “Congress Organised Protesters are Raising Khalistan Jindabad Slogans. I always said they are not Kisans, they are Congress workers, Farmers are Nationalists, they can’t say Khalistan Jindabad,” his tweet dated September 25, 2020, read.

Last year, he pointed out how the farmer protests are in fact a cover for the anti-India agenda. While sharing an ANI video of a Bhindranwale flag on a farmer’s tractor, Bagga had said, “Once again agenda behind the protest is exposed. Khalistan, terrorist Bhindrwala gang should be arrested and sent to Jail.”

He had also sought the intervention of the then Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh over Khalistani posters in the city of Amritsar.

Bagga was harassed for exposing AAP’s connections with Khalistanis

Besides being outspoken against Khalistan, Tajinder Bagga had time and again exposed the connection between Khalistani extremists and the Aam Aadmi Party.

In 2018, he tweeted about an ex-AAP legislator named Jarnail Singh who attended a rally of Khalistani supporters in London in 2011. “You can clearly see Khalistan Printed Flags on both sides of stage & We stand united for Sikh Homeland on Top of Screen,” his tweet read.

In February this year, the BJP spokesperson lambasted Arvind Kejriwal for circulating a fake letter to gain the support of Khalistani Sikhs in Punjab.

“Shame on you Kejriwal. You have joined hands with Khalistanis to grab power,” read another tweet by Bagga.

Bagga did not stop exposing the underlying connections between Khalistanis and the Arvind Kejriwal-led party. He had pointed out how AAP leader Harpreet Singh Bedi had been actively demanding a separate nation for Sikhs.

Given that Tajinder Bagga, a practising Sikh, has been critical of Khalistan and also exposed Arvind Kejriwal in this regard, it was evident that it would draw the ire of AAP leaders sympathetic to the ‘Khalistani cause.’

Aam Aadmi Party and accusations of favouring Khalistanis

Ahead of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections this year, former AAP leader Kumar Vishwas had revealed how party supremo Arvind Kejriwal was in cahoots with the anti-India forces to grab power in the Northern State.

According to him, Kejriwal had once claimed, “Either I will become Chief Minister of the state or I will become first Prime Minister of an independent nation (Khalistan).” Vishwas had alleged that deep-rooted separatism had engulfed Kejriwal’s mind in his quest for power.

Instead of clearing the air over the Khalistan controversy, AAP party leader Raghav Chadha tried to intimidate the poet into silence. An FIR was registered against Kumar Vishwas, which was put on hold by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

In 2018, similar allegations were made by actress Gul Panag 2018. Referring to Khalistani supporters in Punjab as K Gang, she had said, “Poorly calculated flirtation that was. One I warned against. Repeatedly. It’s because they didn’t get or understand Punjab. I thought the K gang had electoral weightage. All of us from Punjab knew better. But alas!”

Again in March this year, the Khalistani outfit ‘Sikhs For Justice’ (SFJ) had stated that AAP won the elections by deceptively bagging the votes of pro-Khalistan Sikhs in Punjab, who support SFJ’s secessionist referendum of Punjab.

In a video, SFJ Chief Gurpatwant Singh Pannu said that the AAP had tried to win the confidence of the pro-Khalistan votes by falsely claiming that the 2022 elections were significant for Punjab as well as for SFJ.

Last month, AAP leader Raghav Chadha attempted to give a clean chit to Khalistani extremists in Punjab after they attacked Hindu shopkeepers and pelted stones at a Kali temple in Patiala. Although the frenzied mob was caught on camera raising ‘Khalistani Zindabad’ slogans and brandishing swords, Chadha claimed it was a clash between workers of two political parties.

While speaking to the media, he remarked, “I want to clarify that this unfortunate violent clash in Patiala today was not between 2 groups but the workers of 2 political parties – on one side, there were people from Shiv Sena & Congress & on the other side, people from Shiromani Akali Dal.”

On May 1 this year, AAP Himachal Pradesh social media President, Harpreet Singh Bedi, came under the scanner over his pro-Khalistan tweets. Netizens pointed out Bedi has been actively advocating for the creation of Khalistan as a ‘constitutional right’ since 2012.

Bedi was also seen justifying separatist Khalistani slogans as non-seditious. “If saying Khalistan is Deshdroha (sedition) then saying Hindustan is also the same according to the constitution,” one of his tweets read.

In a conversation with another Twitter user, he was seen referring to the draftsmen of the Constituent assembly as ‘Your leaders’ suggesting a difference from his own. Following the controversy, the AAP leader deleted his Twitter account and the party expelled him to save its face.

As the evidence suggests, Aam Aadmi Party has been flirting with separatists and violent, terrorist Khalistani elements for a long time. Whether it was during the farmer protest or the run up to elections, AAP has always tried to pander to separatist elements in the hopes to reap benefit electorally in Punjab. To a large extent, it did help them win the state as even the Khalistani terrorist organisation Sikhs For Justice claimed that they had funded AAP’s election campaign in Punjab.

Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga is a Sikh man who wears his Dharmic roots on his sleeve. As evidenced, he has also been extremely vocal not just against AAP but also against the Khalistani terrorist movement and the demands for a separate nation for Sikhs. He has regularly raised his voice against Khalistanis and for The Hindu identity of India. In fact, he had called Bhindranwale a terrorist even during the farmers protest when even Barkha Dutt was being slammed for suggesting the same during her interview with Deep Sidhu.

While AAP has managed to win Punjab, one can theorise that their victory rests on a thin rope. Given that they had espoused widespread support from extremist Khalistani elements, their popularity in the state stands to be dented if nationalist Sikhs like Tajinder Bagga become popular challengers to his political hegemony. Therefore, it is not a stretch to imagine that the AAP government in Punjab is trying to hunt down Bagga not because of some tweets against Kejriwal but actually because he is exactly what threatens AAP in Punjab – A proud Sikh man vocal against Khalistani terrorists and AAP’s divisive politics.

While Khalistani elements seem to have a free hand in Punjab, critics of the AAP government are being intimidated, harassed and arrested without prior imitation. The case of Tajinder Bagga suggests that his disdain for Khalistan has ruffled the feathers of sympathisers of the separatist movement within the Aam Aadmi Party.

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Dibakar Dutta
Dibakar Dutta
Fascinated by Indian politics

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