ANI Photo | “We oppose transnational oppression”: US amid indictment of Indian in alleged foiled plot to kill Sikh separatist Pannun

Amid the indictment of an Indian in an alleged foiled assassination plot in the US, State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller said on Monday that Washington opposes any ‘transnational oppression’ across the world while clarifying that the comment wasn’t specific to India.
“We oppose transnational oppression no matter where it occurs or, who might be conducting it. That’s not a comment specific to India. That’s a comment specific to any country in the world. With respect to this specific case, there’s an ongoing law enforcement matter at issue here and we don’t talk about those from this podium,” Miller said at a media briefing in Washington DC on Monday.
“But I would say that, when this alleged incident was brought to our attention, we made very clear at the most senior levels of our government, the most senior levels of the Indian government, how seriously we would treat something like this. They have opened an investigation into the matter and we look forward to seeing the results of that investigation,” the State Department spokesperson added.
His statement comes after the US Justice Department 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 Justice Department 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 carry out the assassination, which was foiled by US authorities, according to prosecutors.
Gupta is currently in custody and has been charged with murder-for-hire, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Czech authorities arrested and detained Gupta on June 30, pursuant to the bilateral extradition treaty between the United States and the Czech Republic.
In its indictment, the Justice Department has claimed that earlier this year, an Indian government employee working together with others, including Gupta, directed a plot to assassinate a political activist who is a US citizen of Indian origin residing in New York City.
It was alleged 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 that CC -1 directed the assassination plot from India.
At CC-1’s direction, Gupta allegedly contacted an individual whom he believed to be a criminal associate, but who was, in fact, a confidential source working with the DEA. The source, it was alleged, introduced Gupta to a purported hitman, who was a DEA undercover officer. The purported hitman was offered USD 100,000 to murder the Separatist leader, the Justice Department claimed.
The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty, the Justice Department stated in a release.
The unsealing of the indictment follows the recent sharing of information by the US on a ‘nexus’ between organised criminals, gun runners and terrorists. India has since formed a high-level inquiry committee to address the security concerns highlighted by the US government.
Reacting to the Justice Department’s indictment, the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said the case filed against an individual in a US court, allegedly linking him to an Indian official, was 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” the MEA spokesperson 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” the spokesperson added.

Subscribe to our Newsletter


ANI News Logo
About ANI

-

ANI is a leading multimedia news agency.