India ask FBI to share intelligence on Sikh separatists – source


NEW DELHI, Dec – India has asked the United States to share intelligence on Sikh separatists living there amid investigations into an accusation that an Indian official was linked to a plot to kill a Sikh separatist on American soil, an Indian official said on Tuesday.
The request was made by the National Investigations Agency (NIA), India’s federal anti-terrorism agency, in meetings with visiting FBI Director Christopher Wray, said the official, who works at the NIA and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The issue of what New Delhi says are Sikh separatists operating against India from U.S. soil was discussed in “greater detail by a team of internal security officials from both countries”, the official said.
“India has requested the U.S. officials to share inputs on suspected individuals who have in recent years been recruited and embedded in the separatist movement,” the official said.
The NIA said in a statement on Tuesday that Wray met NIA Director General Dinkar Gupta and held discussions on issues including “the acts and activities of Terrorist-Organised Criminal Networks, ongoing investigations in the US in the attack on the Indian consulate in San Francisco, investigations of cyber-terror and cyber-crimes of various kinds.”
A U.S. embassy spokesperson said meetings between Wray and Indian officials were underway but was unable to share details yet.
The 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.
New Delhi denies any connection to a June murder in a Vancouver suburb but has announced an investigation into U.S. concerns about an alleged plot in New York.
It says such plots were not government policy and it is not hunting down Sikh separatists abroad. 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 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.