Pannun murder plot: Indian-American lawmakers warn of significant damage to bilateral ties


Indian-American members of the US Congress stated on Friday (local time) that the charges against an Indian national, accused of plotting to kill Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, were “deeply concerning” and could lead to “significant damage” in India-US relations if not appropriately addressed.

In a joint statement, five Indian-American lawmakers — Ami Bera, Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi, and Shri Thanedar — said, “The allegations made in the indictment are deeply concerning.” The statement was issued after the Biden administration held a classified briefing on the Department of Justice’s indictment of Nikhil Gupta in the alleged murder plot of Pannun.

“We believe the US–India partnership has made a meaningful impact on the lives of both of our people. But, we are concerned that the actions outlined in the indictment could, if not appropriately addressed, cause significant damage to this very consequential partnership,” the lawmakers warned.

The US Representatives further said, “It is critical that India fully investigate, hold those responsible, including Indian government officials, accountable and provide assurances that this will not happen again.”

They welcomed the Indian government’s announcement of a high-level committee to investigate the failed plot to kill Pannun, who is an American citizen.

“As members of Congress, the safety and well-being of our constituents are our most important priority,” the lawmakers said in the statement.

On November 29, Gupta was charged by federal prosecutors in the US in connection with the case. According to prosecutors, he had agreed to pay $100,000 to an assassin to carry out the killing, with an advance payment of $15,000. However, the individual he contacted for the hitman turned out to be a confidential source working with US law enforcement.

Gupta was arrested in the Czech Republic on June 30 at the request of the US.

Published On:

Dec 16, 2023



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