White House Expresses Concern Over Indian Intelligence Service's Alleged Role in Assassination Plots

White House Expresses Concern Over Indian Intelligence Service’s Alleged Role in Assassination Plots

The White House has expressed serious concern over the reported involvement of the Indian intelligence service in two assassination plots in Canada and the United States.

According to The Washington Post, an officer in India’s intelligence service was directly involved in a foiled plan to assassinate a U.S. citizen critical of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the U.S. The officer was also reportedly involved in the shooting death of a Sikh activist in Canada last June.

White House Expresses Concern Over Indian Intelligence Service's Alleged Role in Assassination Plots

India’s foreign ministry has labeled The Washington Post report as making “unwarranted and unsubstantiated imputations on a serious matter” and stated that New Delhi is investigating the issue.

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre emphasized the seriousness of the matter, stating, “This is a serious matter, and we’re taking that very, very seriously. We’re going to continue to raise our concerns.”

In November, U.S. authorities stated that an Indian government official had directed a plot to attempt the murder of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a Sikh separatist and dual citizen of the United States and Canada.

India has expressed concern about the linkage and has distanced itself from the plot, committing to formally investigate the concerns of the United States and take necessary follow-up action based on the findings of a panel set up on Nov. 18.

Pannun is the general counsel of Sikhs for Justice, a group labeled an “unlawful association” by India in 2019 for its alleged involvement in extremist activities. India later listed Pannun as an “individual terrorist” in 2020.

The issue is sensitive for both India and the Biden administration in the United States as they seek to strengthen ties in the face of shared concerns about China’s increasing power.

News of the U.S. plot surfaced two months after Canada stated it was investigating credible allegations potentially linking Indian agents to the June murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, another Sikh separatist, in a Vancouver suburb.

India has vehemently denied Ottawa’s accusations.

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