Sikh leader Gurpatwant Singh’s assassination attempt was planned by India

Last Updated on April 30, 2024 9:01 am

Indian officer Vikram Yadav ordered the killing of Sikh community leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a US citizen of Indian origin. Vikram Yadav was an officer of India’s spy agency, Research and Analysis Wing or RAW.

This information was revealed in a report of the American media organization Washington Post.

According to the Washington Post report, Vikram Yadav, who is currently working in another government agency, sent all the details including Pannun’s address in New York. However, nothing was previously known about Yadav’s connection with this murder. US law enforcement foiled the assassination attempt. However, at that time US federal counsels said that Indian citizen Nikhil Gupta (52) worked with Indian intelligence and security officials to kill the Sikh leader in New York.

Nikhil Gupta was arrested in the Czech Republic on June 30 last year. He was arrested under a bilateral extradition treaty between the United States and the Czech Republic.

Nikhil’s family has already moved the Supreme Court seeking release from jail. He appealed to the Supreme Court that his human rights were violated. Nikhil is also worried about his family living in Delhi. He sought legal assistance through the Indian Embassy. However, the court rejected that claim. However, Nikhil’s trial is still going on in the American court. On the other hand, the United States is conducting a separate investigation into the attempted murder of Pannun.

Pannun is a citizen of Canada as well as the United States. He lived in New York. He is a strong supporter of the Independent Khalistan movement in India. He is involved in the movement to establish an independent Sikh state. The Indian government considers him a terrorist.

A senior Biden administration official said the White House first learned of the plot to kill Sikh leader Pannun last July.

The official, who did not want to be named, said that White House National Security Advisor Jack Sullivan had a meeting with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on the issue. He urged Doval to bring those responsible to justice. Sullivan also said that the United States wants assurances that such incidents will not happen again in the future. If this happens again, the relationship between the two countries will be permanently damaged.

Later, President Joe Biden asked CIA Director Williams Barnes to contact his Indian counterpart. He asked the CIA director to go to India and make it clear that the US would not tolerate such activities.

The report also said that the operation targeting Pannun was approved by then RAW chief Samant Goyal. Ajit Doval, the national security adviser to India’s current Prime Minister Narendra Modi, may have been aware of Raw’s plans, but US officials have not insisted.

Doval and Goyal were not immediately reached for comment by The Washington Post.

A study of Indian assassination plots in North America and the increasingly aggressive global posture of RAW. The study is based on interviews with more than three dozen current and former senior officials in the United States, India, Canada, Britain, Germany and Australia. Most of whom spoke on condition of anonymity.

Asked why India would risk an assassination attempt on US soil, a Western security official said, because they knew they could get away with it.

India’s plans to carry out lethal operations in North America have shocked Western security officials. India has been treated as a second class player for years. But India considers itself a rising power in this new era of global competition. Even the US cannot afford to isolate India.

On June 18 last year, Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar was killed outside a Sikh temple in British Columbia, Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made an explosive comment in Canada’s Parliament last week after Hardeep’s murder. He said that he has received ‘credible allegations’ that India has a hand in this murder. Trudeau made the allegations based on information provided by the intelligence sharing network Five Eyes.

Western officials pointed out that Yadav was also involved in this operation. 11 such Sikh or Kashmiri separatists, designated as terrorists by the Modi government, have been killed in the last two years.

Although the Indian Ministry of External Affairs did not acknowledge the sensational information made by the Washington Post, it was also mentioned in the report. At the same time, they did not agree to comment on this article sent by the Post.

India’s spokesman Randhir Jaiswal said India was still investigating the allegations against him and that the Pannun issue “equally affects our national security.” Jaiswal also said target killing was “not our policy”.

At a time when US President Joe Biden is emphasizing on improving relations with India to counter China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region, the case is considered highly sensitive.

Senior officials of the US Department of Justice and the FBI pressed the government to bring Yadav to justice. But the US government referred to Yadav only as an unnamed co-conspirator, “CC-1”, and did not name the Indian spy agency.

Judiciary officials sided with petitioners seeking criminal charges against Yadav. Administration officials denied it.

So far the US has only charged Nikhil Gupta. He is accused of being an Indian drug and arms trafficker and responsible for hiring contract killers.

However, the Biden administration has recently taken steps to curb the assassination plot. White House officials also warned the Modi government this month.

Source: The Washington Post

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