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India-US Homeland Security Dialogue : Cooperation In Combating Terror, Money Laundering Discussed

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NEW DELHI, Feb 28: Cooperation in combating terrorism, money laundering, organised crime and activities of pro-Khalistani elements in America were discussed at the India-US Homeland Security Dialogue held here on Wednesday, sources said.

While the Indian delegation was led by Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla, the US delegation was headed by his counterpart Kristie Canegallo, acting deputy secretary, US Department of Homeland Security.

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An official statement said during the dialogue, both sides reviewed ongoing cooperation in counter-terrorism and security domains, which has been a key pillar of the India-US strategic partnership.

In this context, they discussed steps that can be taken to bolster bilateral efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism, drug trafficking, organised crime and ensure transportation security, the statement said.

Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the vibrant people-to-people ties between the two countries, by taking steps to enable safe and legal migration, counter illegal migration, human trafficking, money laundering, cyber-crimes and misuse of the cyber domain for illegal activities including terror-financing.

The co-chairs reiterated their keen interest in consolidating the mutually beneficial collaboration between the respective law enforcement agencies through exchange of information, capacity building, technical assistance and regular meetings of sub-groups set-up under the framework of the Homeland Security Dialogue, the statement said.

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The Indian delegation is believed to have raised the issue of the activities of the pro-Khalistani elements on the US soil and also their active support and funding to the separatist elements based in India, the sources said.

The meeting was held against the backdrop of a row over the alleged assassination attempt on top Khalistani separatist Gurpatwant Singh Panun, a US citizen.

The US has been demanding accountability in the matter.

India is also seeking action against the pro-Khalistan elements involved in the July 2023 attack on the Indian consulate in San Francisco, the sources said.

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has identified more than 50 pro-Khalistan activists who had attacked the consulate in San Francisco.

New Delhi is also pushing for the extradition of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks accused Tahawwur Hussain Rana.

A US court had dismissed Rana’s appeal against extradition.

The dialogue concluded with signing of the following document which will further deepen bilateral security cooperation: A Memorandum of Cooperation on law enforcement training between the US Federal Law Enforcement Training Centre and India’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy.

Both sides agreed to hold the next round of the senior officials’ Homeland Security Dialogue in Washington D.C. at a mutually convenient date.

The last India-US homeland security dialogue was last held in January 2022. (PTI)

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