Referendum 2020: 'ISI, Pro-Khalistan Groups Behind Campaign', Says All-India Anti-Terrorist Front Chief MS Bitta
MS Bitta (Photo Credit: ANI)

New Delhi, August 12: The All-India Anti-Terrorist Front chairman M.S. Bitta on Sunday said that Referendum 2020 is being orchestrated by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.

Speaking to ANI, Bitta assured that Punjab would always remain a part of India. "There was no Khalistan, there will be no Khalistan and we won't let there be Khalistan. The nation is one. Punjab was always a part of India and will continue to be," he added.

Former chairman of Sardar Patel Memorial Society, UK, Praveen Patel, who was seen protesting with a group of people of Indian origin against the Referendum 2020 in London, too, echoed a similar stance.

"We're living in this country and they are talking about free Khalistan in India. We believe that this has been organised in conjunction with the ISI in Pakistan and Khalistanis in Canada," he claimed.

Sikhs for Justice (SJF), a separatist Sikh organisation, had planned a campaign in August on 'London Declaration on Referendum 2020', seeking a separate Khalistan state.

Last month, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said a demarche had been issued to the United Kingdom, as the event was being organised to spread hatred.

However, the UK government has maintained that while there is freedom of protest and expression in the UK, the government would not encourage any groups spreading hatred or violence.