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Indian couple accused of spying on Germany's Sikh, Kashmiri groups goes on trail

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Berlin: An Indian couple accused of spying on Kashmiri and Sikh groups in Germany and sharing information with Indian intelligence agents went on trail on Thursday in Frankfurt on charges that carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a media report said on Thursday.

Manmohan S and his wife Kanwal Jit K were charged with foreign secret service agent activity in Germany in April this year.

The trial of the two Indian citizens accused of spying on Kashmiri and Sikh groups in Germany began at the Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt, Germany's state-owned public international broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.

Starting from January 2015, Manmohan, 50, had allegedly obtained information on Kashmiri separatist and Sikh groups operating in Germany and passed it on to officials of India's external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), posted at the Indian Consulate in Frankfurt, the report said.

From July 2017, his wife Jit K, 51, is also suspected of taking part in the intelligence gathering, the report said, adding that in return for their service, the couple allegedly received a total of USD 7,974 from RAW.

The further hearings are scheduled up until December 12. If convicted, the couple may be jailed for up to 10 years.

Sikhs are a religious minority in Germany. Many German Sikhs have their roots from Punjab and number between 15,000 to 21,000. Germany has the third highest Sikh population in Europe after the UK and Italy.

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