US panel on religious freedom calls for sanctions on India


A US government agency on religious freedom has called for sanctions against India for its alleged involvement in the killing of a Khalistani activist in Canada and in a plot to kill another activist in the US.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has been critical of the Indian government and has recommended sanctions on it every year since in 2020. It makes these recommendations to the US State Department, which has ignored them so far.

“The Indian government’s alleged involvement in the killing of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada and the plot to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in the United States are deeply troubling, and represent a severe escalation of India’s efforts to silence religious minorities and human rights defenders both within its country and abroad,” said USCIRF Commissioner Stephe Schneck in a statement on Friday.

“We call on the Biden administration to acknowledge the Indian government’s perpetration of particularly severe religious freedom violations and designate it as a country of particular concern (CPC).”

The Canadian government first alleged India’s involvement in the killing of Nijjar in British Columbia in July. Ottawa has cited human and electronic intelligence in support of these allegations but has not made them public yet. The US alleged in an indictment that a senior Indian government official used an Indian man to hire a contract killer to kill Pannun.


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