- India conducts raids against alleged Sikh separatist links in seven states and union territories.
- The NIA seizes weapons and digital devices during these operations.
- Some detainees are suspected of ties to “pro-Khalistan” groups.
India‘s anti-terrorism agency has conducted raids at 53 locations in seven states and union territories, targeting individuals it claims are “terrorists” and “gangsters,” some of whom allegedly have connections to Sikh separatist organizations.
The National Investigative Agency (NIA) announced on Wednesday that it had confiscated firearms, ammunition, and numerous digital devices during these operations.
Among the detained individuals, the NIA suspects several of having affiliations with “pro-Khalistan” groups.
The term “Khalistan” refers to a separatist movement that aims to establish an independent Sikh homeland in the Punjab region of India.
This development coincides with India’s ongoing diplomatic tension with Canada, sparked by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s accusations that India might be involved in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh Canadian who advocated for Khalistan and was killed in British Columbia.
India has vehemently denied Trudeau’s allegations and has previously accused Nijjar of being a terrorist with ties to the Khalistan movement and of attempting to radicalize the Sikh community worldwide.
Additionally, India has long accused various foreign nations of sheltering individuals it characterizes as Sikh militants within their diaspora communities.
The NIA said Wednesday the latest raids “relate to conspiracies of targeted killings, terror funding of pro-Khalistan outfits, extortion, etc. by the gangsters, many of whom are lodged in various jails or are operating from various foreign countries, including Pakistan, Canada, Malaysia, Portugal, and Australia.”