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Want it fully investigated: US on Pannun murder plot

By Lalit K Jha
Last updated on: December 08, 2023 11:27 IST
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Describing India as a strategic partner, the United States has said it wants to deepen the relations with the country unabated on a range of issues but at the same time wants it to fully investigate the plot to assassinate a Sikh separatist in New York and hold accountable those responsible.

National Security spokesperson John Kirby's remarks came while responding to a question on the impact that the alleged plot would have on the bilateral relationship.

“India is a strategic partner. We're deepening that strategic partnership. They're a member of the Quad in the Pacific. We participate with them on a range of issues and we want to see that continue unabated. That said, at the same time, we certainly recognise the seriousness of these allegations,” Kirby told reporters at a White House news conference Washington, DC on Thursday.

US federal prosecutors on November 29 charged Indian national Nikhil Gupta with working with an Indian government employee in the foiled plot to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a Sikh extremist, who is an American and Canadian citizen.


“We want it fully investigated and those responsible to be held properly accountable,” Kirby said.

“It's under active investigation. We've said that we're glad that our Indian counterparts are taking it seriously and doing that. We want those responsible for these attacks to be held fully accountable, but I won't get ahead of an investigation that isn't complete,” Kirby added.

Describing it as a “matter of concern,” India has announced a high-level investigation and asserted that follow-up action will be taken based on the findings of the investigation panel.

On Thursday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said India instituted an inquiry committee to look into the inputs received from the US in the case as the matter has a bearing on national security.

"Insofar as the US is concerned, certain inputs were given to us as part of our security cooperation with the United States. Those inputs were of concern to us because they (were) related to the nexus of organised crime, trafficking and other matters," he told the Rajya Sabha.

"Because they have a bearing on our own national security, it was decided to institute an inquiry into the matter and an inquiry committee has been constituted," he said.

The US State Department on Monday welcomed India's decision by the Indian to set up a high-level committee to investigate the allegations of an assassination attempt by a junior Indian official on Pannun.

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Lalit K Jha
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