Toronto: As per media reports US based Sikh right group Sikhs For Justice has protested the taking down of its page on Facebook, alleging that action was taken at the behest of the Indian government.
According to Hindustan Times report, SFJ’s legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannu said the page, News Punjab 2020, was taken down on Facebook on Saturday but restored on Sunday after an email campaign and messages to the social media giant. While the page was accessible on Sunday evening, it was again apparently barred later in the night.
Pannu accused the Indian government of being behind the taking down of their media platform. “They have a full social media team there and they force them (Facebook) to remove our pages,” Pannun alleged.
He said the recent actions were presaged by Facebook scrubbing videos off the News Punjab 2020 page during the recent visit of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to India.
Pannu said those videos were aimed at “countering the Indian propaganda of targeting Canadian PM Trudeau during his recent visit to Punjab and for advocating Sikhs’ right to self-determination and demanding independence referendum in the state of Punjab”.
Pannu said the page had nearly 100,000 followers and was the “prime platform of online referendum 2020 campaign”. That reference is to the vote the SFJ plans to organise that year.
According to Pannu SFJ’s own page was blocked by Facebook in India in 2015. As the group challenged that action in courts in the US, judges ruled on two occasions that Facebook could not be forced to carry content against its wishes. That page remains available in North America, including in Canada, reads a note in Hindustan Times.