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US Maintains Silence on Probe into Khalistani Terrorist's Plot

Photo : AP

The US State Department has refrained from commenting on the ongoing investigation into the alleged plot to assassinate Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, stating it will not discuss the matter until allegations are proven before a jury. Pannun, recognized as an India-designated terrorist, holds citizenship in both the United States and Canada.

Spokesperson Matthew Miller addressed inquiries regarding Pannun's case during a State Department briefing, emphasizing the ongoing legal nature of the investigation. The response follows a Czech court ruling permitting the extradition of Indian national Nikhil Gupta to the United States. Gupta, accused by US authorities of involvement in the alleged assassination attempt on Pannun, faces charges of murder-for-hire, with a potential maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

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The US Justice Department's indictment implicates an unnamed Indian government employee in recruiting Gupta to orchestrate the plot, subsequently thwarted by US authorities. The Indian External Affairs Ministry has denounced reports implicating India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in the alleged scheme as "unsubstantiated" and "speculative," affirming the matter is under investigation.

Furthermore, the Russian Foreign Ministry has called for credible evidence from Washington regarding the involvement of Indian citizens in the case, cautioning against unfounded speculation. Meanwhile, the US State Department reiterated its non-interference stance in elections globally, including the ongoing Lok Sabha elections in India, dismissing any involvement in sending observers.

The Lok Sabha elections, spanning seven phases from April 19 to June 1, mark one of India's lengthiest polling exercises. The electoral process, with results scheduled for June 4, signifies a significant democratic event in India's political landscape. The State Department's stance underscores its commitment to respecting sovereign electoral processes worldwide while fostering cooperation with its partners, including India.

May 10, 2024 10:54 a.m. 8373

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