News How 'Indian officials' plotted to kill Sikh leader in America


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How 'Indian officials' plotted to kill Sikh leader in America


Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, the Sikh separatist leader, was allegedly assassinated.

30 November 2023

The US Attorney General's Office has released details of the conspiracy to kill Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannu. An Indian was arrested in that conspiracy. It also detailed how an Indian government official was involved in the conspiracy.
India on Wednesday expressed concern over the involvement of a government official in the conspiracy, saying it was "against the government's policy".
Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, the US citizen who the Attorney General's Office says was planned to kill, has been designated a terrorist by the Indian government since 2020.
He is the legal advisor of a Sikh separatist organization. A leader of that organization, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, was killed in Canada in June.

A couple of months ago, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged that 'agents' of the Indian government were involved in the murder of a citizen of his country. They have enough evidence of this.
India dismissed Canada's allegations. But this time, even though the United States raised similar allegations, the Indian government's response was completely different.


India is investigating the allegations raised by the US

plan to kill​

Although Nikhil Gupta's name has come up, the US Attorney General's office has not released the name of the accused Indian official.
The charge sheet has written in detail - when and how the contact between the said government official and the arrested Nikhil Gupta was made.
In the first week of May, the Indian official contacted Nikhil Gupta through an 'encrypted app', the charge sheet claims.
Mr. In return for helping Gupta in a criminal case, he Sikh leader Mr. Agrees to arrange for Pannu to be killed.
There was continuous communication between Nikhil Gupta and the Indian official through electronic communication. Apart from this, the two met in Delhi as well.
It is said in the complaint, Mr. While Gupta and the Indian official were in constant communication through the 'encrypted app', Mr. Gupta was in Delhi or nearby.
Last May 12 Mr. Gupta is said to have a criminal case pending against him. He was also told, "Nobody from Gujarat Police will call again".
Mr. Gupta was again assured by the Indian official on May 23, "He has spoken to his boss and the Gujarat case is settled, no one will call you again."
It is claimed in the complaint that the Indian official with a deputy mayor Mr. Gupta also arranged the meeting.
After receiving the trust from the officer Mr. Gupta began planning the assassination in New York.
He contacted a 'hitman' in America for this job. "The person to be killed commutes between New York and another city in America," the hired killer was told.
The hitman Nikhil Gupta contacted was actually an undercover US federal agent.


The 'hired killer' was an undercover federal agent - symbolic figure

The final preparation for the kill​

The United States Attorney General's Office has claimed in the indictment, Mr. Gupta also arranged for the undercover agent to get more work in the US and Canada after he was killed in New York.
Meanwhile, after the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijja in Canada on June 18, a reliable US intelligence source was told by Mr. Gupta said that "We have got the green signal, you can finish the work anytime today or tomorrow. Finish this work as soon as possible."
Mr. Gupta traveled to the Czech Republic from India on June 30, the same day he was arrested by the Czech police at the request of the US.
He was involved in drug and arms trafficking. The US informed India about this.


Nikhil Gupta gave 15 thousand US dollars to the 'hired killer' as an advance]

India's concern​

In a press conference on Thursday, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Arindam Bagchi, said that a high-level investigation committee has already started working to look into the allegations made by America about the conspiracy.
“A case filed in a US court against an individual alleging contact with an Indian official is of concern. We have said it before and again, it is against government policy," said Mr. Bagchi.
He said, "Internationally organized crime, trafficking, arms smuggling and links between extremists are a matter of concern for law enforcement agencies and it is precisely for this reason that a high-level inquiry committee has been formed."
But he did not want to give any other information about the matter as it is related to security measures.
India's Ministry of External Affairs announced an investigation into the US's plan to kill, but earlier when Canada said that one of its citizens had been killed and the involvement of Indian government officials, the Ministry of External Affairs' reaction was quite different.


The Indian government seized property from the Punjab village house of Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, whose assassination was allegedly planned.

Why different tunes?​

In response to this question, Sabyasachi Basurai Chowdhury, former vice-chancellor and professor of political science at Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata, said, “There are several reasons for the different kind of response seen in the case of Canada and the United States.
"Firstly, the number of Indians in the United States is around 50 lakhs and in Canada the number of Indians is around 15 lakhs. So naturally the Indian government will be more interested in protecting the interests of Indians living there than in the US."
In his words, "Again, as the US has a lot of investment in India's huge market, the Indian government is also interested in retaining that investment." Compared to Canada, India's economic relationship is much less."
"The third reason is India's rivalry with China, it is important for India to have the United States on its side. Canada's role in this regard is not so important in the Sino-Indian relationship."
"That is why India has been able to refute Canada's allegations, but it is difficult for India to do that in the case of the US," said Sabyasachi Basurai Chowdhury.
He also said that India's deterioration of diplomatic relations with Canada is unlikely to happen to the United States.


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