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Indian-American lawmakers warn India ties could suffer if Pannun plot not probed

Indian-American lawmakers warn India ties could suffer if Pannun plot not probed

Washington, Dec 17 (SocialNews.XYZ) The five Indian-American members of the US House of Representatives have said in a joint statement that it’s “critical” that India investigates allegations that one of its officials engaged in a plot to kill an American citizen and the failure to address these issues could “cause significant damage to this very consequential partnership”.

Representatives Ami Bera, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthy, Pramila Jayapal and Shree Thanedar issued the statement after a classified briefing by officials.


The US attorney for the southern district of New York has alleged in an indictment unsealed in a court on November 26 that a senior Indian official directed Neeraj Gupta, an Indian citizen, to arrange for the killing of -- although not named in the court document -- Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a Khalistani activist in New York.

Gupta is alleged to have contacted a man who turned out to be a confidential informant of the Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA) of the US. This informant, in turn, introduced Gupta to a contract killer, who was actually an agent of the DEA. A deal was struck for $100,000 with the go-ahead from the senior official, who was allegedly directing the plot from India.

The indictment also alleges that the Indians in the plot had talked about other targets as well, including Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Khalistan activist who was killed in Canada in June.

The indictment said Gupta had been arrested and detained by Czech authorities in June at the request of the US under an extradition treaty between the countries.

India has announced a committee to investigate these allegations.

“We appreciate the Administration providing us a classified briefing on the Department of Justice’s indictment of Nikhil Gupta, which alleges that an Indian government official engaged in a murder-for-hire plot of an American citizen,” the five members wrote in the joint statement.

“As Members of Congress, the safety and well-being of our constituents is our most important priority. The allegations made in the indictment are deeply concerning.

“We welcome the Government of India’s announcement of a Committee of Enquiry to investigate the murder plot and it is critical that India fully investigate, hold those responsible, including Indian government officials, accountable, and provide assurances that this will not happen again. We believe the U.S. – India partnership has made a meaningful impact on the lives of both of our people, but we are concerned that the actions outlined in the indictment could, if not appropriately addressed, cause significant damage to this very consequential partnership.”

These members have been generally supportive of India and have worked assiduously to improve and expand ties between the two countries. Two of them — Khanna and Krishnamoorthi — have been trying to pass legislation that would accord India the same status of NATO+5 countries for purchasing highly sophisticated defence and dual-use technology.

Source: IANS

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Indian-American lawmakers warn India ties could suffer if Pannun plot not probed

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