India forms investigation panel into conspiracy to murder Sikh separatist leader in America
Thursday, November 30, 2023
India has constituted a high-level inquiry panel to probe allegations of a conspiracy to kill a Sikh separatist leader in the US.
On the evening of Wednesday, November 29, 2023, America claimed that it had foiled the plan to assassinate a Sikh separatist American citizen living in New York. America accused Indian citizen Nikhil Gupta in this case on Wednesday, 29 November 2023. According to the documents presented in the court, he had received instructions from an employee of the Government of India.
Earlier last week, the British newspaper Financial Times, quoting sources, had reported that America had foiled an attempt to assassinate pro-Khalistan leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannu. The newspaper had claimed that Indian government officials were involved in this conspiracy and America has warned the Indian government regarding this.
On Wednesday, 29 November 2023, India's Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that India has constituted a high-level panel on 18 November 2023 to investigate the matter.
Following the Financial Times report, US National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said the US was taking the issue "extremely seriously".
The Washington Post wrote in a report on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 that the Biden administration was deeply concerned after the conspiracy to assassinate a Sikh separatist was discovered. It had sent CIA Director William J. Burns and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haynes to India in August 2023 and October 2023 and demanded an investigation into the matter.
What did the Ministry of External Affairs of India say on the case of conspiracy to kill Sikh separatist leader in America?
Thursday, November 30, 2023
The Indian Foreign Ministry has said that charges have not been brought against the Indian official in the US court. Information about what inputs India has received from America cannot be made public.
Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi has said in response to a question, "I want to clarify one thing that the case is not being filed against the Indian official in the American court. We cannot share the inputs we have received but If you are talking about a legal case, a person has been charged in an American court.''
“The allegation that the man was working with an Indian official is a matter of concern. We have repeatedly said this is not India's policy. Our high level investigation panel will also investigate the case from the angle of nexus of drug racket and organized crime.''
The US has claimed to have uncovered a conspiracy to kill a Sikh separatist leader and an American citizen on American soil.
A man named Nikhil Gupta is accused of giving a contract to a hired killer to kill a separatist leader in exchange for one lakh dollars (about Rs 83 lakh) in cash.
There are allegations that Nikhil Gupta was being guided by an Indian officer. The Indian official is not named in the indictment.
On 18 November 2023, India has constituted a high-level inquiry panel to investigate these allegations.
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