Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

A day after the US federal prosecutors accused an Indian intelligence official of “planning and directing” a plot from India to allegedly kill Khalistan chief and founding father of the banned organisation Sikh for Justice (SFJ) Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in New York, the India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) mentioned on Thursday that it was a “matter of concern” and “contrary to Indian government’s policy”.

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi mentioned, “As we now have knowledgeable earlier, throughout the course of discussions with the US on bilateral safety cooperation, the US aspect shared some inputs pertaining to nexus between organised criminals, gun runners, terrorists and others. We take such inputs significantly, and a high-level Enquiry Committee has been constituted to look into all of the related features of the matter and vital follow-up motion will probably be taken based mostly on the findings of the Enquiry Committee.

“We cannot share any further information on such security matters, ” Bagchi mentioned.

He mentioned that as regards the case towards a person that has been filed in a US court docket, allegedly linking him to an Indian official, it is a “matter of concern”.

“We have said, and let me reiterate, that this is also contrary to the government policy, ” the MEA official mentioned.

Bagchi mentioned, “The nexus between organised crime, trafficking, gun running and extremists at an international level is also a serious issue for law enforcement agencies to consider. It is precisely for this reason that a high-level Enquiry Committee has been constituted. We will obviously be guided by its results.”

The remarks from the MEA got here after the US prosecutors on Wednesday introduced murder-for-hire prices towards Indian nationwide Nikhil Gupta for involvement in a foiled plot to assassinate a US citizen allegedly on behalf of an Indian authorities worker.

Gupta was arrested by Czech authorities on June 30 in response to a request by the US underneath an extradition treaty, based on a press release issued by the workplace of the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams.

The prices had been introduced in a superseding indictment unsealed on Wednesday.

Gupta, who’s a resident of India, is alleged to be concerned in worldwide narcotics and weapons trafficking.

The indictment describes him as an affiliate of an Indian authorities worker who has not been recognized by title, however is allegedly an Indian authorities company worker who, the US Attorney’s workplace has mentioned, has variously described himself as a “Senior Field Officer” with tasks in “Security Management” and “Intelligence”, and who additionally has referenced beforehand serving in India’s Central Reserve Police Force and receiving “officer training” in “battle craft” and “weapons”.

This worker has been referred to as “CC-1” within the indictment, which alleged he “was employed at all times relevant to the indictment by the Indian government, resides in India, and directed the assassination plot from India”.

The goal of the assassination plot has additionally not been recognized within the indictment. But he has been described as a lawyer who has been advocating secession of Punjab and that he has been a strident critic of the Indian authorities.

The man is Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a New York resident who heads an organisation referred to as SFJ. “As alleged, the defendant conspired from India to assassinate, right here in New York City, a US citizen of Indian origin who has publicly advocated for the establishment of a sovereign state for Sikhs, an ethno-religious minority group in India, ” mentioned US Attorney Williams.

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