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Business News/ News / World/  Pro-Khalistan leader's assassination bid: India to probe inputs from US
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Pro-Khalistan leader's assassination bid: India to probe inputs from US

MEA said India will take necessary follow-up action based on the findings of the enquiry committee

Pro-Khalistan leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun (File) (HT_PRINT)Premium
Pro-Khalistan leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun (File) (HT_PRINT)

New Delhi: The external affairs ministry on Wednesday said it has set up an inquiry committee to look into the “inputs" from the US after the latter reportedly warned New Delhi of a plot to assassinate pro-Khalistan leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

This comes on the heels of a report in the Financial Times, which claimed that US officials helped foil a plot to assassinate Pannun who leads Sikhs For Justice. According to the report, US officials had delivered a warning to the Indian government amid concerns about its involvement in the matter after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the US in June.

Pannun has been designated a terrorist by Indian authorities under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

“…it is informed that on 18 November 2023, the Government of India constituted a high-level Enquiry Committee to look into all the relevant aspects of the matter. Government of India will take necessary follow-up action based on the findings of the Enquiry Committee," the MEA announced on Wednesday.

India did not deny the story and confirmed that the US government had provided “inputs pertaining to nexus between organized criminals, gun runners, terrorists and others". The MEA also said that the relevant departments were following up on the matter. 

Meanwhile, US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson confirmed that the US had conveyed its concerns to the Indian government, including at the “senior-most levels".

“We have conveyed our expectation that anyone deemed responsible should be held accountable," said Watson.

The handling of this crisis differed markedly from New Delhi’s recent confrontation with Canada over similar allegations. In September, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly said there were “credible allegations" of India's involvement in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, another prominent face in the pro-Khalistan movement, in September. This sparked off a diplomatic spat that saw talks on a bilateral trade agreement stall and the mutual expulsion of diplomats.

The Financial Times’ report also stated that a sealed indictment has been filed against individuals involved in the case, which may be unsealed and made public. The report also stated that the US had briefed its allies about the matter once Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly insinuated Indian involvement in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

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Published: 29 Nov 2023, 03:28 PM IST
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