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Business News/ News / World/  'US shared inputs...': India on 'plot' to kill Khalistani separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun
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'US shared inputs...': India on 'plot' to kill Khalistani separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun

India responds to US report claiming opposition to a plot to kill Khalistani supporter Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil. Both countries are concerned about the nexus between organized criminals, gun runners, terrorists, and others and are taking necessary follow-up action, MEA said

Khalistani separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun (File) (HT_PRINT)Premium
Khalistani separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun (File) (HT_PRINT)

India has responded to a report that claimed that the US opposed a plot of killing Khalistani supporter Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil. India said that the US side shared some inputs pertaining to the nexus between organized criminals, gun runners, terrorists, and others during the course of recent discussions on India-US security cooperation, and issues in the context are already being examined by relevant departments.

US foils bid to kill Sikh terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, warns India: Report

Responding to media queries on reports of discussions between India and the US on security matters, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India takes such inputs seriously since it impinges on its own security interests as well. He added that Washington had shared "some inputs" that were being "examined by "relevant departments."

He said the inputs are the cause of concern for both countries and necessary follow-up action is being taken.

Who is Gurpatwant Singh Pannun? Know more about Sikh separatist leader

"During the course of recent discussions on India-US security cooperation, the US side shared some inputs pertaining to the nexus between organized criminals, gun runners, terrorists, and others. The inputs are a cause of concern for both countries and they decided to take necessary follow-up action," he said.

A report by Financial Times mentioned that the US  authorities thwarted a plot to kill a Sikh separatist in the United States and issued a warning to India over concerns the government in New Delhi was involved.

NIA books ‘terrorist’ Pannun for threatening Air India passengers in viral video

The US is treating the plot with utmost seriousness and has raised the issue with the Indian government "at the senior-most levels," the White House said according to a report by the Financial Times.

Pannun, who says he is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, was the target of the foiled plot, the English daily added citing the statement of an official from the Biden administration.

Citing sources, the FT report did not mention if the US protest to India resulted in the plot being abandoned, or if it was foiled by the FBI. It said the protest was registered after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was welcomed on a state visit by President Joe Biden in June.

Khalistan supporters stage protest outside Indian High Commission in London

This week, India's anti-terror agency filed a case against Pannun stating that he warned flag carrier Air India passengers in video messages shared on social media this month that their lives were in danger.

Pannun, like Nijjar, is a proponent of a decades-long but now fringe demand to carve out an independent Sikh homeland from India called Khalistan, a plan New Delhi sees as a security threat due to a violent insurgency in the 1970s and 1980s.

India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) registered a case against Pannun under charges related to terrorism and conspiracy, among others. It stated he threatened in video messages to not let Air India operate anywhere in the world.

The case comes against the historical backdrop of a bombing in 1985 of an Air India aircraft flying from Canada to India that killed 329, and for which Sikh militants were blamed.

Pannun told Reuters on Tuesday that his message was to "boycott Air India not bomb."

He told Reuters on Wednesday he would let the U.S. government respond "to the issue of threats to my life on American soil from the Indian operatives."

"Just like Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar's assassination by the Indian agents on Canadian soil was a challenge to Canada's sovereignty, the threat to (an) American citizen on American soil is a Challenge to America's sovereign(ty)," he said.

Pannun is the general counsel of Sikhs for Justice, which India labeled an "unlawful association" in 2019, citing its involvement in extremist activities. Pannun was listed as an "individual terrorist" by India in 2020.

 

 

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Published: 23 Nov 2023, 07:37 AM IST
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