The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is seeking information and aid from USA, UK, Canada, Denmark and Sweden in connection with its investigation in the Sikhs for Justice and Khalistani conspiracy case. MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava confirmed to CNN-News18 that such a request has gone to USA under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.
"We have issued a mutual legal assistance request to USA for investigation in the matter of Sikhs for Justice, Referendum 2020. And as per procedure, the request has been directly sent to the USA, Department of Justice, by concerned authorities," he said.
MHA officials confirmed that a similar exchange under MLAT is also happening with other countries where SFJ, Khalistan Tiger Force, Khalistan Zindabad Force and other bodies have been organising protests at Indian missions. "It is evident these protests are paid for. The presence of Khalistani terrorists like Pamma and Nijjar at some of these protests make it clear who is organising them. Since they are proscribed terrorists, we have asked authorities in UK, USA and Canada to take action," an NIA officer told CNN-News18.
On the question of Denmark and Sweden, the officer said the countries have been asked for information about crowdfunding website Gofundme.com. Several users have sought donations on the website in the name of Indian farmers. Photographs and videos from the farmer protest site have been shared to justify the cause. Though the NIA says its investigation is not connected to the farmer agitation, it suspects those raising funds are misusing the name of farmers and the funds may be used for "other purpose".
"We want to know the details about those who are raising money on such platforms," an officer said.
The NIA is investigating two separate cases related to Khalistani groups. The first connects to Referendum 2020 whereas the second FIR is about SFJ, KTF, BKI and other groups routing funds to India via NGOs to "spread disaffection against Indian state".
The chargesheet has been filed against 16 people including British, American and Canadian nationals in the Referendum 2020 case while summons have bene sent to 45 in connection with the funding case.