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Business News/ News / World/  India asks FBI to share intel on pro-Khalistan supporters residing in US
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India asks FBI to share intel on pro-Khalistan supporters residing in US

The National Investigation Agency in meetings with visiting FBI Director Christopher Wray made the request

The Khalistan movement for a Sikh homeland in northern India, crushed decades ago, has burst onto the global stage in recent months as the United States and Canada accused Indian officials of involvement in assassination plots against Sikh separatist leaders in North America. (REUTERS)Premium
The Khalistan movement for a Sikh homeland in northern India, crushed decades ago, has burst onto the global stage in recent months as the United States and Canada accused Indian officials of involvement in assassination plots against Sikh separatist leaders in North America. (REUTERS)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has asked the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to share information on all pro-Khalistan supporters living in the North American country. The move comes after the Indian government and intelligence sleuths were accused of being involved in the killing of Khalistan supporter Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada, and a murder attempt on another Khalistani leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in the US. 

India asked the United States to share intelligence on Sikh separatists living there, Reuters reported quoting people familiar with the development. 

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray visited India this week.

The Reuters report also added that the discussion was held between the FBI and NIA, India's anti-terror agency, during which the issue of what New Delhi says are Sikh separatists or Khalistanis operating against India from US soil was discussed in “greater detail by a team of internal security officials from both countries".

"India has requested the US officials to share inputs on suspected individuals who have in recent years been recruited and embedded in the separatist movement," Reuters quoted the official as saying. 

The Khalistani movement demanding a separate nation for followers of the Sikh religion had been crushed in India decades ago. However, the movement has gained international attention in recent months as the United States and Canada accused Indian officials of involvement in assassination plots against Sikh separatist leaders in North America.

India has denied any connection with the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada's British Colombia. 

Last month, the United States charged an Indian national named Nikhil Gupta with conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire and murder-for-hire charges for allegedly plotting to assassinate Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in New York City.

India says such plots were not government policy and it is not hunting down Sikh separatists abroad. At the same time, Indian security and foreign ministry officials say Sikh separatists in North America and Europe raising money, training people and campaigning for India’s division, is a concern for New Delhi.

India has also sought to distance the FBI chief's visit - the first in years - from the New York case, saying Wray's trip had been planned for some time.

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Published: 12 Dec 2023, 07:07 PM IST
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