Jose Kalathil,NEW DELHI
The Khalistan movement activists have threatened the editor of the Chandigarh-based daily, The Correspondent, Capt M K Tayal, to support their movement and not to brand its supporters as terrorists or “face the consequences”.
The lead article published in the daily today said the anti-India Khalistan terrorists based in Canada warned Captain Tayal from writing against the ‘movement’ and support the ‘Referendum 2020’. In a telephone call Khalistan leader Pannu said, “Khalistan will be formed in Punjab. We are going to liberate Punjab from the Indian occupation. The Sikh community is going to have a separate country in Punjab.” “I advise you to stay neutral otherwise you will face consequences under the international law very soon,” the Khalistani leader warned.
According to the report, this is the second time the editor has been threatened over phone. The first call was ignored by Capt Tayal thinking it was a prank or some recorded campaign seeking support for Khalistan movement.However, the second call on May 18 was also direct threat to the scribe who has fearlessly written against terrorism and corruption. Capt Tayal had interviewed terrorist-turned self-proclaimed president of Khalistan Jagjit Singh Chauhan as part of his earlier job in 2004 who had said that the Khalistan will be formed by 2007.
Tayal has also written against actress Shilpa Shetty and her underworld connections, been very verbose against actor Sanjay Dutt for his terrorism actions and singer Daler Mehndi kabutarbazi, exposed corruption by Hurriyat Conference in getting huge sums from Pakistan, interviewed NSCN chief T Muvivah, and even wrote one year before the Mumbai attack about the possibility of terrorists using the sea route to attack India.
Though the call from the USA/Canada number was a recorded message, but it was directly targeted at the editor Andy his credentials were identified as a journalist by the caller. It could be a campaign by the Khalistani movement to draw its attention to its activities but to threaten scribes is all together different.
“The last time, Indian journalists wrote against Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and by branding his followers as terrorists. This time don’t make the same mistake,” ‘Pannu’ claiming to be from the Khalistan ‘Liberation Movement ’ said in the prerecorded phone call.
The scribe texted the area in-charge superintendent of police but the officer has not responded till the time of going on air.. The call came from 001855951** and 001833994**.
During his military service, Capt Tayal had undertaken several anti-terrorist operations in the Kashmir Valley for which he was awarded Special Service Medal by the then President of India.