Indian government denies involvement in plot to kill Sikh activist in US

Indian government denies involvement in plot to kill Sikh activist in USIndian government denies involvement in plot to kill Sikh activist in US
via YouTube/Narendra Modi
Michelle De Pacina
16 days ago
The Indian government, led by Hindu Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has denied allegedly orchestrating an assassination attempt targeting a Sikh separatist leader in the U.S. last year.
Key points:
  • A Washington Post report detailed evidence that the alleged plot to kill Sikh activist Gurpatwant Pannun, came directly from New Delhi.
  • The assassination attempt was foiled by the Biden administration last year. Federal officials previously suspected India‘s government was involved, prompting them to issue a warning to Modi‘s administration. 
  • The Indian government has denied any connections to the plot, and India’s foreign ministry dismissed the report’s claims as “unwarranted and unsubstantiated imputations,” pledging to investigate.
The details:
  • In the investigative report, the Indian Intelligence Service, known as the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), is alleged to have been behind the assassination plot and that Modi’s inner circle and national security advisers were aware and had authorized it. 
  • RAW officer Vikram Yadav was identified as the plotter, and the operation was allegedly approved by then RAW chief Samant Goel. The officer was also linked in a separate shooting death of a Sikh activist in Canada last June.
  • They allegedly targeted Pannun, a U.S. citizen and member of the organization Sikhs for Justice, which advocates for a separate state for Sikh people in India. Pannun, a vocal critic of Modi in the U.S., is regarded by the Indian government as a terrorist and a threat to the Hindu nationalist state that Modi is focused on building. 
  • The assassination attempt has stirred deep-seated anxieties within the Sikh American community, who have long faced discrimination and hate crimes. Sikh activists have since expressed fear, prompting calls for increased awareness and action to ensure their safety and security in the U.S.
U.S.-India relations: 
  • The revelation arises as both India and the U.S. seek closer ties amid shared concerns about China‘s influence. The situation presents a significant breach of American sovereignty, with a foreign government attempting to assassinate a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil. 
  • The Biden administration faces a challenging dilemma in responding to the assassination plot, balancing the desire to cultivate closer ties with India as a growing power and negotiating partner while being alarmed by the gravity of the plot.
  • However, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has acknowledged the report, stating, “This is a serious matter, and we’re taking that very, very seriously. We’re going to continue to raise our concerns.”
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