Matter of concern, contrary to govt policy: MEA on US indicting Indian national Nikhil Gupta in ‘plot to kill’
India reacted to the US indictment of an Indian Nikhil Gupta in ‘hire for murder’ charge and said this is not government policy.
The external affairs ministry on Thursday reacted to the US indictment of an Indian individual, Nikhil Gupta, in a plot to kill charge and said it is a matter of concern and also contrary to the government policy. "As we have said earlier, during the course of discussion with the US on the bilateral security cooperation, the US side shared some inputs pertaining to the nexus between organised criminals, gun runners and terrorists. We take such inputs very seriously and a high-level enquiry committee has been established to look into all aspects of the matter. Necessary follow-up action will be taken on the findings of the committee. We can not share any further information regarding such security matters," MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
"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 this is also contrary to government policy," the spokesperson said.
"The nexus between organised crime, trafficking, gunrunning, and extremists at an international level is a serious issue for the law enforcement agencies and organisations to consider," the spokesperson said.
On the Canada issue, the MEA said that Canada has consistently given space to anti-India extremists and that is the heart of the issue. "Our diplomats in Canada have borne the brunt of this. So we expect the government of Canada to live up to its obligations under the Vienna Convention," the spokesperson said.
US federal prosecutors on Wednesday charged an Indian national for his participation in a foiled plot to assassinate a Sikh separatist on American soil. The indictment did not mention the name of the Sikh leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. It neither mentioned the name of the Indian government official who allegedly worked with Nikhil Gupta, the Indian man charged by the US government. The indictment said 52-year-old Nikhil Gupta worked with the Indian government official to hire a hitman to allegedly kill Pannun. Gupta agreed to pay an assassin USD 1000,000 to kill the Sikh leader, the indictment claimed.
The indictment also mentioned the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada and said Nikhil Gupta told the assassin that Nijjar was also a target.
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reacted to the US indictment and said this is what Canada has been saying and India should take these issues seriously.
Canada had publicly accused India of killing Nijjar resulting in a diplomatic meltdown between the two countries. India rejected the charge and said Canada did not provide any evidence and harboured extremists.