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US charging Indian in plot to kill Khalistani separatist a ‘matter of concern’: MEA

by tbhad

The Hindu, New Delhi

The Ministry of External Affairs (EAM) has said that the purported links between the indicted individual and the Indian government official in the U.S. Department of Justice filings on the plot to kill a Sikh separatist on American soil is a “matter of concern” and is not the “Indian government policy”.

EAM spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that a high-level probe committee will investigate all aspects of the allegations relating to the foiled plot to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a Sikh extremist and known to be an American and Canadian citizen.

On Wednesday, U.S. federal prosecutors charged Indian national Nikhil Gupta of working with an Indian government employee in the foiled plot to kill Pannun.

U.S. prosecutors informed a Manhattan court on Wednesday that authorities in the Czech Republic arrested and detained Mr. Gupta, and he is currently awaiting extradition to the U.S.

“As regards the case against an individual that has been filed in a U.S. court allegedly linking him to an Indian official, this is a matter of concern,” Mr. Bagchi said.

“We have said and let me reiterate that this is also contrary to government policy,” he said at a media briefing.

Mr. Bagchi said the “nexus between organised crime, trafficking, gunrunning and extremists at an international level is a serious issue for the law enforcement agencies and organisations to consider and it is precisely for that reason a high-level inquiry committee has been constituted and we will obviously be guided by its results.”

The MEA spokesperson said the U.S. side shared some “inputs” pertaining to nexus between organised criminals, gun runners and terrorists and that India takes such inputs seriously since they impinge on “our national security interests as well” and that relevant departments were examining the issue.

“During the course of discussions with the U.S. on bilateral security cooperation, the US side shared some inputs pertaining to nexus between organised criminals, gunrunners, terrorists and other extremists,” he said.

“We take such inputs very seriously and a high level inquiry committee has been constituted to look into all the relevant aspects of the matter,” he said, in identical remarks that he made on Wednesday.

Mr. Bagchi said India will take necessary follow-up action based on the findings of the enquiry committee.

“We cannot share any further information on such security matters,” he said.

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