MEA institutes enquiry committee to look into report of Indian involvement in plot to target Khalistani leader in U.S.

A report said that the U.S. government thwarted a plot to kill Khalistani separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on U.S. soil

November 29, 2023 01:33 pm | Updated 02:12 pm IST

Representational image of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar

Representational image of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar | Photo Credit: ANI

The Central Government has instituted a “high-level enquiry committee” to look into inputs from the U.S. government on reports of the alleged involvement of Indians in a plot to target a Khalistani leader in the U.S., according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

On November 22, The Financial Times reported that the U.S. government thwarted a plot to kill Khalistani separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on U.S. soil, and “warned” New Delhi about its alleged involvement in the plot.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India constituted a high-level inquiry committee on November 18 to look into all the relevant aspects of the matter.

“We have already said that during the course of discussions with the US on bilateral security cooperation, the US side shared some inputs pertaining to nexus between organised criminals, gun runners, terrorists and others,” Bagchi said.

He was replying to a media query on the matter.

“We had also indicated that India takes such inputs seriously since they impinge on our national security interests as well, and relevant departments were already examining the issue,” he said.

“In this context, it is informed that on November 18, the Government of India constituted a high-level Enquiry Committee to look into all the relevant aspects of the matter,” he added.

Mr. Pannun, who is a designated terrorist in India, is an American and Canadian citizen and the legal counsel for Sikhs for Justice, a body that advocates for a separate Sikh homeland of Khalistan, carved out of India.

The FT’s anonymous sources did not say whether the alleged plot to kill Mr. Pannun was abandoned because Washington had warned New Delhi about the matter or whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had foiled it.

(With inputs from PTI)

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