India expresses concern over Sikh extremism in Germany

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 05, 2015 23:17 IST
Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju in a file photo. (HT Photo)

Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju on Monday drew the attention of his German counterpart Gunter Krings towards the presence and activities of individuals and organisations linked to extremist and terrorist elements operating in India, particularly Sikh extremists.

“Such elements based in Germany often utilise their places of religious worship to support extremist organisations in India by propaganda and financing. The Khalistan flag and photographs of terrorists bearing weapons are openly displayed in many Sikh religious places in Germany to incite hatred and anger,” the Indian minister told Krings.

The annual report of the Protection of Constitution published in June has made specific reference to ‘Extremist Sikhs’ in the list of extremist organisations of foreigners in Germany.

“I wish to explain that the Sikh community is defined by religion and not ethnicity. The extremist Sikh organisations are trying to incite religious differences in our country, aimed at effecting radical change of the political situation in India by using force and terrorism,” he said.

Rijiju said Germany was an important power house and trade partner and signing of the pact would ensure that extremist forces are kept at bay.

“My counterpart was very positive to the issues raised by us and assured full cooperation to India in this regard,” he told reporters.

Rijiju and Krings also discussed the threat posed by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group and ways to cooperate to counter it.

Armed marshals on flights

Certain flights between India and Germany will have armed marshals on board, according to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on Monday by the two sides with the aim of preventing any hijacking attempt.

The MoU, along with another pact on security cooperation, was signed before talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and exchanged during the media interaction of the two leaders.

The MoU on “carriage of in-flight security officers within a short time frame” was signed by Rijiju and Krings.

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