New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has summoned farmer leader Baldev Singh Sirsa and Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu and 38 others for questioning on January 17 in a case related to Sikhs for Justice (SFJ).

The actor, who has backed the farmers protesting against the centre's contentious agriculture laws, has been asked to appear before the anti-terrorism agency at its Delhi headquarters today. The others who have been summoned include officials of non-profit Khalsa Aid.

The summons has drawn the ire of the Shiromani Akali Dal. Condemning the NIA's action, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday claimed that this was an attempt to "intimidate" the farmers protesting against The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

Moreover, Badal accused the Union government of trying to tire out farmers.

The Central agency has summoned around 40 people for questioning as witnesses in a case related to pro-Khalistan terror group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) under Section 160 Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) - Police officer’s power to require attendance of witnesses in FIR no 40/2020 under various Sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Claiming that huge funds are being sent to pro-Khalistan elements based in India, the NIA accused the SFJ leadership of plotting to undertake terrorist attacks in the country. As per the NIA, this banned organization wants to create a separate nation of Khalistan after secession from India. Some of the other individuals summoned in the case include Punjabi actor Deep Sindhu, journalist Jasbir Singh and activist Gurpreet Singh.

The notices were sent on January 15 asking them to appear at the NIA’s Delhi headquarters from January 18-21.