The Himachal Pradesh Police on Sunday booked the leader of Sikhs For Justice group Gurpatwant Singh Pannun under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act after Khalistani flags were found tied outside the state Legislative Assembly building in Dharamshala, The Hindu reported.

The Khalistan movement is a separatist campaign to create a country for Sikhs by seceding from India. Pro-Khalistan slogans were also painted on the walls of the assembly complex on Sunday.

“Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the general counsel to Sikhs for Justice, has been made the main accused in the case,” said Himachal Pradesh Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu, PTI reported.

The Centre had banned the United States-based group in 2019 for “anti-national activities”.

After Khalistani flags were put up, a first information report was filed against Pannun under Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for inciting or abetting terror acts and Indian Penal Code Sections 153A and 153B for promoting disharmony or enmity between different groups on the basis of religion.

The state police also booked him under Section 3 of the Himachal Pradesh Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1985.

The FIR was registered against Pannun based on a complaint by Ram Chand, a resident of Kaned village in Dharamshala’s Kangra district, Kundu said.

Kundu added that a seven-member Special Investigation Team has been formed to look into the case.

The police have also beefed up security in the state after Sikhs for Justice called for a Khalistan referendum on June 6, PTI reported. “The state border has been sealed to regulate movements of suspicious elements across it and keeping a strict vigil there,” the police added.

All the security staff of government buildings have been directed to report anything suspicious to the police, ANI reported.

“They [the police] have been directed to keep the Special Security Units, Bomb Disposal Squads and Quick Reactions Teams in position and on high alert and strengthen the security of dams, railway stations, bus stands, towns, government buildings and vital installations,” an order said.