India has been accused of involvement in the assassination attempt of Sikh leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. It was thought that India would get away with this assassination attempt on American soil. But India doesn’t seem to get ‘off’ so easily. A religious monitoring organization of the country has urged US President Joe Biden to impose sanctions on India in this incident.
According to the Indian media Times of India, the American religious freedom watchdog US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) published its annual report on Friday. In this report, they claim, India is targeting religious minorities worldwide. For this, India should be declared a ‘Country of Special Concern’.
According to the news agency Reuters, the report mentions efforts to silence minority journalists, lawyers and activists in various countries around the world. It said that the organization sees this attempt by India as a serious threat to religious freedom. For this, according to the US religious law, the US State Department should ban India.
If sanctions are imposed, Washington can withdraw various benefits granted to India. This is what the Reuters news agency said.
The Indian media Times of India says that there is no solution to this incident yet. Even the proceedings of the case are going on. Meanwhile this urge came.
But it’s not the first. Earlier, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an American religious freedom watchdog, has urged such a ban on India. According to Reuters, the organization has been making this request since 2020.
USCIRF Commissioner Stephen Schleck termed the Indian government’s involvement in the attempted assassinations of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar and American Sikh leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in Canada as ‘deeply troubling’.
However, no one from the US State Department agreed to comment on this matter.
An Indian government official hired a man named Nikhil Gupta to assassinate Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. America made this complaint last month. However, the name of the Indian official has not been disclosed. The official of the Indian government appointed Nikhil for this job last May.
According to Washington, Nikhil contacted a person to find the assailant to kill Pannun. The man was reportedly an ‘undercover agent’ of the US Narcotics Bureau. The person also put Nikhil in touch with a potential assailant. A total of $100,000 was initially offered for the murder.
According to the Indian media Hindustan Times, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun is involved in the management of Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a pro-Khalistan organization banned by the Indian government in New York. The organization is working on the demand of a Sikh state named ‘Khalistan’. They have already organized a referendum on this.
America thwarted the assassination attempt on this pro-Khalistan leader. Nikhil Gupta was arrested in Czech Republic last June. The United States also reported the information of an Indian government official involved in the assassination attempt with him. Washington says the Indian officer is a ‘senior field officer’. He is in charge of intelligence department. He led various assassination plans in different countries while sitting in India.