Monitoring Desk: Indian intelligence Agency RAW has been further exposed as federal prosecutors in Manhattan charge an Indian hitman with plotting to kill a Sikh activist in New York.
According to a story published in The New York Times, US authorities have expressed concerns to New Delhi about the constant cross-border terrorism in India as another plot for killing a Sikh leader resembling to June assassination in Canada had been busted by the US intelligence agencies.
The report written by Jesse McKinley, Julian E. Barnes, and Ian Austen indicated that the unsuccessful attempt was outlined on Wednesday by federal prosecutors in Manhattan who charged an Indian national with a scheme to kill the separatist and political activist, who is a U.S. citizen and has been outspoken in his belief of a Sikh-majority homeland. The indictment says the plan was devised by an Indian agent and was linked to the June assassination of a separatist in Canada, allegations that could complicate the delicate relations between Washington, Ottawa, and New Delhi.
The hit was planned by an Indian government official who told the man tapped to carry it out, Nikhil Gupta, that there was a target in New York and another in California, according to prosecutors. “We have so many targets,” the official told him.
The indictment included a photo of a roll of hundred-dollar bills that it said was an advance payment for the New York job. But the supposed hitman was, in fact, working for the American government.
The indictment and the killing of the Sikh activist in Canada have upended a key component of President Biden’s foreign policy agenda. Despite growing concerns about India’s commitment to democracy, Mr. Biden has been courting the country’s leaders to counter the influence of Russia and China.
The target of the plot was identified by American officials as Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who is general counsel for the New York-based group Sikhs for Justice. Mr. Pannun is an outspoken proponent of independence for the northern Indian state of Punjab, which is home to a large number of Sikhs, a powerful minority group in the nation. The goal of such Sikh separatists is the creation of a sovereign state known as Khalistan. In a region wrought both by colonial emancipation and external forces, such a division has been fraught and decades-long.
The Department of Justice indictment shows connections between the plots against both men. Mr. Nijjar knew Mr. Pannun. Shortly after Mr. Nijjar was murdered, the Indian government agent sent Mr. Gupta a video clip of “Nijjar’s bloody body slumped in his vehicle,” according to the indictment.
Information from US authorities confirmed that Gupta had “credibly indicated” he had conspired with an employee of the Indian intelligence agency RAW.