Indian Couple Sentenced for Spying on Germany’s Sikhs, Kashmiris

A married Indian couple living in Moenchengladbach was sentenced by a German court on Thursday, 12 December, after admitting to spying on Sikh and Kashmiri communities for the Indian secret service.

Manmohan S was handed a suspended prison sentence of 18 months for acting as a foreign intelligence agent, while his wife Kanwal Jit K was fined 180 days' wages for aiding him.

According to a court statement, Manmohan was recruited by the Indian foreign intelligence agency Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) at the beginning of 2015, and asked to spy on the Kashmiri opposition movement.

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India and Pakistan have disputed Kashmir ever since Independence in 1947, with the nuclear rivals fighting two out of three wars over the mountainous region.

An insurgency against Indian administration has been waged since 1989 in Kashmir, claiming tens of thousands of lives.

“The accused reported on the internal affairs of the Sikh temples in Cologne and Frankfurt, as well as on protest events in the Sikh community,” the statement said.

The 51-year-old was paid 200 euros (USD 223 or INR 15,770) a month for the information he provided, and attended regular meetings with an Indian intelligence officer from July 2017.

His 50-year-old wife, to whom the court ascribed financial motives, accompanied him to the meetings.

On top of the suspended sentence, Manmohan was also ordered to a pay 1,500 euros to a charitable institution.

The couple now have a week to appeal the decision.

(Published in an arrangement with PTI.)

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