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‘Regularly working’ with India in probe on alleged plot to kill Sikh separatist leader: US

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Washington, May 1: The United States is “regularly working” with in its investigation into the allegations related to the plot to assassinate Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a US State Department official has said.

The remarks by US State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel came after The Washington Post, citing unnamed sources, named a Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) officer in connection with the alleged plot to kill Pannun on American soil last year.

India on Tuesday strongly rejected the claims, saying the report made “unwarranted and unsubstantiated” imputations on a serious matter and that an investigation into the case was under way.

Addressing his daily news conference on Tuesday, Patel said, “We continue to expect accountability from the Government of India based on the results of the the Indian inquiry committee's work, and we are regularly working with them and enquiring for additional updates.”

“We'll also continue to raise our concerns directly with the Indian Government at senior levels, but beyond that, I'm not going to parse into this further and will defer to the Department of Justice,” Patel said when asked about The Washington Post report, which identified the RAW officer as Vikram Yadav and alleged that he was involved in the plot to assassinate Pannun.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal on Tuesday slammed the report by the US daily.

“The report in question makes unwarranted and unsubstantiated imputations on a serious matter,” he said in New Delhi.

Jaiswal said a high-level inquiry committee set up by New Delhi to look into inputs provided by the US on the alleged plot was still probing the case.

“There is an ongoing investigation of the high-level committee set up by the Government of India to look into the security concerns shared by the US government on networks of organised criminals, terrorists and others,” he said.

“Speculative and irresponsible comments on it are not helpful,” Jaiswal added.

In November last year, US federal prosecutors charged Indian Nikhil Gupta with working with an Indian government employee in the foiled plot to kill Pannun.

Pannun, wanted in India on terror charges, holds dual citizenship of the US and Canada. He has been designated as a terrorist by the Union home ministry under the anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The allegations about the failed plot to kill Pannun came to the fore weeks after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed in September last year of a “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on June 18 in British Columbia.

India had strongly rejected the charges.

On December 7, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in Parliament that India instituted an inquiry committee to look into the inputs received from the US in the Pannun case as the matter had a bearing on national security.

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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