US ‘thwarted plot’ to kill Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil, lodged protest with India, report says

Team India Sentinels Friday 24th of November 2023 07:38 PM

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. (Photo via X)

New Delhi: The United States has foiled an attempt to assassinate prominent Khalistani activist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who has been designated as a “terrorist” by New Delhi under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UAPA, on American soil, London’s Financial Times reported citing US officials. The report also said Washington believes that plot was hatched by Indian government actors and has asked New Delhi to investigate the matter.

This development comes just weeks after Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, alleged that Indian agents killed a Khalistani activist, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, on Canadian soil this June. India rubbished Trudeau’s claim as “absurd” then.

The FT report also said the US had protested to India about the alleged conspiracy to kill Pannun shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to Washington in June. It also reported that US federal prosecutors had filed a sealed indictment against at least one alleged of the people involved in the alleged assassination plot in an American court.

However, that may change because the country's justice department is considering whether to make the allegations public or wait until Canada finishes its investigation into Nijjar’s murder.

That sensational allegation by Trudeau in his country’s parliament led to the tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats from each other’s countries. India also asked downsizing of Canada’s diplomatic staff in Indian high commission and consulates to bring the number at par with Indian diplomatic staff in Canada. Nijjar, who was also designated as an individual under the UAPA, was gunned down by unknown assailants on June 18 this year outside a Sikh cultural centre at Surrey in Canada’s British Columbia province.

Pannun was recently seen in a video issuing threats to Air India and asking Sikhs to avoid taking Air India flights to travel.

In response to media queries on the Pannun case, the foreign ministry spokesman, Arindam Bagchi, in a news release said: “During the course of recent discussions on India-US security cooperation, the US side shared some inputs pertaining to nexus between organized criminals, gunrunners, terrorists, and others. The inputs are a cause of concern for both countries, and they decided to take necessary follow-up action.”

According to reports, Pannun, reacting to the story, said he will leave it up to the US to act upon the matter. It is believed that Pannun, who is the leader of “Sikhs for Justice”, a radical Khalistani outfit, holds dual citizenship of Canada and the US. In September this year, India’s National Investigation Agency confiscated the property of Pannu at his ancestral village of Khankot in Amritsar and Sector 15 in Chandigarh in terror-related cases.


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