'Cause for concern': India reacts to US court's accusations in failed assassination of Khalistan separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun
Dubai: India on Thursday called the US federal prosecutors' accusations that an Indian intelligence official planned and executed a plot hatched by New Delhi to allegedly assassinate Khalistan separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in New York, a "cause for concern" and it goes against the policy of the Indian government, media reports said.
“As regards the case against an individual has been filed in the US court, allegedly linking him to an Indian official, this is a matter of concern…this is also contrary to government policy. The nexus between organized crime, trafficking, gunrunning and extremists at an international level is a serious issue for law enforcement, agencies and organisations to consider. It is precisely for that reason that a high level inquiry committee has been constituted. We will obviously be guided by its results,” Arindam Bagchi, official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said.
Bagchi was responding to questions while briefing reporters on the Prime Minister’s visit to Dubai for the COP-28 summit.
The alleged assassination scheme also involved an Indian citizen, along with two individuals described as a source and a hitman, who were actually undercover US officers.
These allegations have been mentioned in an indictment filed by the US Department of Justice in a federal court in Manhattan.
As per the indictment, the Indian official in question connived with a 52-year-old Indian citizen named Nikhil Gupta, alias Nick,reported Indian Express.
Gupta was apprehended by Czech authorities on June 30 of this year and is facing charges of murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire.
Both charges come with a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison.
According to the indictment, the official, referred to as CC-1, is an employee of an Indian government agency. Describing himself as a "Senior Field Officer" with duties related to "Security Management" and "Intelligence," CC-1 has allegedly held previous roles in India's Central Reserve Police Force, the report said.
The document also mentions his background, noting that he underwent "officer training" in areas such as "battle craft" and "weapons."
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