NIA team reaches Canada to probe pro-Khalistan groups, their funding routes
India’s terror-related cases probe agency, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) team is now currently in Canada to trace the Sikh terror and ultra outfits like Khalistani movements to India. The NIA team currently in Ottawa is in discussion with their Canadian counterparts about the dubious activities of many pro-Khalistan movements like Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) which provide huge funds to India for creating unrest. It is learned that the NIA team has provided to Canadian investigating agencies about these pro-Khalistani outfits providing funding in India to create unrest and demand a crackdown.
According to ‘The Pioneer” newspaper’s report on Sunday, the NIA team was in Ottawa on Thursday and Friday at the invitation of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or RCMP for better coordinating investigation against entities and individuals suspected of terrorism and to discuss other criminal matters.
The NIA had earlier this year formally requested Canada to declare SFJ a terrorist entity. To buttress its case, the NIA shared dossiers with the Canadian law enforcement authorities during interactions in Ottawa. The NIA team’s visit comes as the federal anti-terror agency has evidence to substantiate India’s claim that SFJ was fueling violence in India, particularly in Punjab, as part of its separatist agenda. The SFJ is also spearheading the Punjab Referendum at the behest of the Pakistani agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The NIA’s team appraised the Canadian counterparts like RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) on methods of Pakistan’s ISI is funding SFJ and route money to ultra outfits in India. The officials of NIA gave documents of money trail by SFJ to ongoing Farmers’ Protest in India through dubious ways and demanded a probe on SFJ’s activities.
Headquartered in New York, the SFJ, aided by ISI, has spread its tentacles globally and has emerged as an influential voice among pro-Khalistan elements in Canada. The SFJ was banned in India last year under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Public Safety Canada’s currently listed entities include two Khalistani outfits — Babbar Khalsa International and International Sikh Youth Federation — other than groups like the Taliban, Islamic State, Al Qaeda, and its affiliates Boko Haram, Haqqani Network, Hizbul Mujahideen, Indian Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba among several others.
“The NIA team led by an Inspector General of Police held detailed discussions with senior RCMP officials to collate evidence on several ongoing investigations into cases of terrorism and other serious crimes in order to bring about successful prosecution of the accused in both India and Canada,” the Indian High Commission in Ottawa said in a statement. The NIA delegation also “held additional meetings with the International Crime and Counter-terrorism Bureau of Global Affairs Canada and with senior officials from the International Affairs Division of Public Safety Canada, with a view to deepening and expanding India-Canada collaboration on counter-terrorism and interdiction of global terrorist financing.”
The NIA and RCMP officials also discussed issues related to evidentiary requirements in India and Canada and possible cooperation for capacity building in police investigations between the two agencies. The NIA team also apprised of other anti-Indian outfits operating from Canada and sought strict action. The Indian delegation invited their Canadian counterparts to visit India at their earliest convenience to continue the ongoing collaboration between police agencies.
The two countries have a range of ongoing bilateral mechanisms including a Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism. The two countries had signed a treaty on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters in 1994 and have had an Extradition Treaty since 1987. Apart from initiating criminal probes, the NIA team also demanded the Canadian counterparts initiate proceedings as per the UN anti-Money Laundering Treaty.
 NIA team in Canada to get Khalistani outfits terror tag – Nov 07, 2021, The Pioneer
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