Home News Rogue Indian officials linked to plot to kill US Sikhs – Bloomberg

Rogue Indian officials linked to plot to kill US Sikhs – Bloomberg

Rogue Indian officials linked to plot to kill US Sikhs – Bloomberg

Unauthorized spies may have been involved in attempt to kill Khalistan activist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, report claims

An Indian investigation into a plot to kill a Sikh activist on US soil last year found that agents not assigned to Delhi were involved in the assassination attempt, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed officials.

At least one of the people involved in the alleged murder-for-hire to kill Khalistani separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who is identified as “terrorist” by New Delhi, is no longer cooperating with the country’s foreign intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the report said. It added that the person is still working for the government and no criminal charges have been filed against him.

An indictment in a US court last year alleged that a government official in Delhi tried to organize the assassination of Pannun. The plot was foiled by the FBI. The Khalistan movement seeks the creation of a nation-state for India’s minority Sikhs from the Punjab region.

Meanwhile, an Indian citizen, Nikhil Gupta, was arrested in the Czech Republic, accused of attempting to arrange a murder-for-hire, and is now awaiting extradition to the US.

New Delhi urges Washington to investigate Sikh separatists in US

Responding to the US accusation, New Delhi said such assassination programs were “contrary to the policy of the Government of India”. However, it has set up a high-level committee to investigate “relevant aspects” of the case. Meanwhile, the Indian government has repeatedly asked the US to investigate alleged crimes by Sikh separatist groups, including attacks on Indian missions.

Washington is pressuring New Delhi on this issue. Last year, top US security officials, CIA Director William Burns and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, traveled to India to discuss the matter with their Indian counterparts. During a congressional hearing on Wednesday, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Donald Lu said the assassination plot was a “serious problem” for the relationship between New Delhi and Washington and that President Joe Biden’s administration was addressing it. “Incredibly serious.

US approves potential drone sale to India amid murder allegations

The plot to assassinate Punnun is also linked to the murder of another Sikh activist, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was shot by unknown assailants in British Columbia, Canada last year. Last September, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau linked the murder to “agents of the Indian government”. New Delhi called Canada’s claim “absurd” and “motivated”. The incident sparked a diplomatic spat between the two countries. Early in the unrest, Canada expelled a top RAW operative from the country.

Four retired and two serving Indian security and intelligence officials quoted by Reuters last year denied that the agency was involved in extrajudicial killings, adding that it had no mandate for such operations.

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