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    April 24th 2020: The humiliating exposure this week of a long-running major Indian intelligence operation in Canada will
    embarrass India’s spy agencies but, according to leading Sikh organisations, this should serve as another reminder to
    countries across the world that host Sikh diaspora communities to beware such unscrupulous activities.
    Bribing foreign government officials to toe the Indian government line, infiltrating Sikh organisations (including Gurdwara
    management committees), and using paid media organisations to put out propaganda has long been the modus operandi
    of agencies such as India’s Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB), in their unrelenting effort to
    counter the Sikh struggle for self-determination. Similar methods have been used to silence the Kashmiri freedom
    struggle. However, a number of high-profile cases have shone a spotlight on these activities and, now that the targeting of
    government officials has been proven, it is time the international community took action to protect their own governmental
    systems as well as Sikhs residing in the affected countries.
    Canadian Newspaper “Global News” has published the article by journalist Steward Bell highlighting Federal immigration
    proceedings in which an Indian, who has admitted he was “asked by the IB and RAW to perform various functions”. He
    allegedly met Indian intelligence more than 25 times over six years, most recently in May 2015 — a month after Indian
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Canada. A Canadian official wrote to him saying “You stated that you were asked by
    RAW to covertly influence Canadian government representatives and agencies on behalf of the Indian government”. The
    letter continues “You stated that the guidance from RAW included that you were to provide financial assistance and
    propaganda material to politicians in order to exert influence over them”. The article notes that India has long sought to
    pressure Ottawa over the activism of Sikhs in Canada in advocating independence for India’s Sikh minority. It also points
    out that, whilst the Canadian government was not providing direct comment on that specific case, the Public Safety
    Minister Bill Blair’s office said the government was “concerned when any country shows destabilizing behavior, including
    interference in other countries’ democratic systems.” The full article can be seen at:
    https://globalnews.ca/news/6823170/canadian-politicians-targeted-indian-intelligence/
    In a separate case Canada also reportedly recently banned an Ottawa company, with strong Indian links, from work
    related to the military or national security. Official documents show that that Canadian officials wrote to the company’s
    president saying: “This investigation has determined that since approximately 2000, you have had consistent contact with
    the Indian High Commission in Ottawa, including elements of the Indian government involved in information and
    intelligence collection activities in Canada”: https://globalnews.ca/news/6478679/ottawa-company-contact-indian-
    intelligence/
    These cases follow closely on the heels of the conviction of two Indians by a German court earlier this year for spying on
    Sikh and Kashmiri groups in return for substantial payments by RAW. Further details of that case were published by the
    BBC and can be found at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50763008
    Swaranjit Singh Khalsa, Coordinator of UN-NGO Council of World Sikh Parliament said “I have myself seen many
    incidents of Indian agencies interfering in America’s democratic process. He gave examples of emails sent by Indian
    organizations against the raising of the Sikh national flag, efforts by the Indian Consulate in New York calling library in
    Norwich, Connecticut to remove a Sikh Genocide Memorial, Indian government agents emailing senators not to pass Bill
    in Connecticut for recognition of “Sikh Genocide Remembrance Day” and their attempts to intervene in our Gurudwaras
    (Sikh place of worship). Khalsa said “Due to the unacceptable and persistent interference in Sikh affairs by Indian officials,
    their entry (in an official capacity) in to Gurdwaras throughout the Diaspora has been banned.” That ban hit India’s
    underhand activities hard: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/indian-officials-banned-sikh-gurdwaras-
    180110101549090.html
    Ranjit Singh Srai, Coordinator of Sikh Self Determination Council of World Sikh Parliament, shared the Sikh experience in
    United Kingdom: “There has been decades of nefarious clandestine activity of this kind by Indian agencies and their paid
    stooges in the UK, but these recent official cases go beyond anecdotal significance. Aside from the more recent Canadian
    and German cases, a 2018 Ofcom ruling in the UK showed how blatant propaganda, against those advocating Sikh
    independence, by a broadcaster with strong Indian connections broke UK broadcasting rules”. The official Ofcom
    determination referred to can be found at: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/122960/issue-363-
    broadcast-on-demand-bulletin.pdf
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    Ranjit Singh adds: “The Indian lobby has been hard at work in the UK to interfere in the UK Sikh community’s determined
    campaign for separate recognition and monitoring of Sikhs here as an ethnic group, for the specific purposes of relevant
    UK law and practice, even though India as no conceivable legitimacy to do so. Further, India has, especially since 2018,
    been actively putting pressure on UK authorities to ban Sikh protests outside the Indian High Commission in London,
    seemingly ignorant of the fact that the right to protest is a fundamental aspect of the democratic framework in this
    country”.
    Sikh organisations worldwide have welcomed the exposure of such Indian interference in Sikh affairs and are following up
    by issuing advisories to governments requesting that they take effective measures to stamp out this unprincipled and
    unacceptable practice.
     
    Issued By:
    Manpreet Singh
    Hardyal Singh
    General secretaries World Sikh Parliament
    The World Sikh Parliament was formed pursuant to a resolution of the Sarbat Khalsa (national gathering)
    held in the Sikh homeland in November 2015
     

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