India remains strategic partner; we take alleged assassination plot ‘very seriously’: White House official


The White House National Security Council spokesperson, John Kirby, said on Friday that the US continues to improve its strategic partnership with India. On the other side, he added that the US “takes this very seriously,” referring to the indictment by the US Department of Justice against an Indian in an alleged foiled assassination plot.

While speaking at a press briefing, Kirby said, “India remains a strategic partner, and we are going to continue to work to improve and strengthen that strategic partnership with India.”

Referring to the US Justice Department indictment of an Indian national in an alleged foiled assassination plot in the US, Kirby added, “At the same time, we take this very seriously. These allegations and this investigation, we take very seriously.” He said that the US is glad to see that India is also taking it seriously by announcing their “own efforts to investigate this.”

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the purported Sikh separatist leader that the US Justice Department accuses India of trying to kill

“We have been clear that we want to see anybody that’s responsible for these alleged crimes to be held properly accountable…,” Kirby stressed. The US Department of Justice unsealed an indictment against an Indian national for his alleged involvement in a foiled plot to assassinate a US-based leader of the Sikh Separatist Movement and a citizen in New York.

The US Justice Department has claimed that an Indian government employee (named CC-1), who was not identified in the indictment filed in a federal court in Manhattan, recruited an Indian national named Nikhil Gupta to hire a hitman to allegedly carry out the assassination of the Sikh Separatist, which was foiled by US authorities.

The US Justice Department claimed that Gupta, is an associate of CC-1, and has described his involvement in international narcotics and weapons trafficking in his communications with CC-1. The indictment claims CC -1 directed the assassination plot from India.

Moreover, in a news briefing the MEA on Thursday said that a case filed against an individual in a US court and allegedly linking him to an Indian official is a “matter of concern” and is contrary to government policy.

“We cannot share any further information on such security matters. As regards the case against an individual that has been filed in a US court allegedly linking him to an Indian official, this is a matter of concern. We have said and let me reiterate that this is contrary to government policy,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.

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

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