Indian national goes on trial for spying on Kashmiris, Sikhs in Germany

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An Indian national accused of spying on Sikh and Kashmiri communities in Germany for Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s foreign intelligence agency went on trial in Frankfurt on Tuesday.

The suspect has been identified as 54-year-old Balvir S, Agence France Presse reported.

Prosecutors say he “obtained information about figures in the Sikh opposition scene and the Kashmiri movement and their relatives in Germany, and passed this on to his handlers who were working at the Indian consulate general in Frankfurt”.

A total of 10 hearings before the regional superior court are scheduled, with the trial due to conclude on October 29.

The same Frankfurt court convicted an Indian couple of spying on the same communities last December. The husband was handed a suspended prison sentence of 18 months for acting as a foreign intelligence agent and his wife fined 180 days’ wages for aiding him.

“Frankfurt is of particular interest to the Indian secret services because western Germany is home to the largest Sikh community in the country, estimated at between 10,000 and 20,000 people, and one of the largest in Europe,” the report noted.

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