‘Unwarranted’: India Slams Washington Post For ‘Irresponsible’ Report Naming Raw Official In Pannun Killing Case

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India has declared Gurpatwant Singh Pannun a terrorist.

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New Delhi: India on Tuesday strongly objected to a report by The Washington Post claiming that an officer in India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was behind the killing of Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. India termed the report, which claimed that a RAW officer hired a “hit team” to kill Pannun, as “speculative and irresponsible”.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said, “The report in question makes unwarranted and unsubstantiated imputations on a serious matter. There is an ongoing investigation of the High Level Committee set up by the Government of India to look into the security concerns shared by the US government on networks of organised criminals, terrorists and others. Speculative and irresponsible comments on it are not helpful.”

What Washington Post Report Said

The report claimed that the RAW official sent details of Pannun, including his New York address, and as soon as the “priority” target was confirmed, “it will be a go ahead from us”. The Washington Post stated that the Ministry of External Affairs declined to “detailed questions submitted by The Post or provide comment for this article.”

Pannun’s assassination is a “priority now”, the officer wrote as per the report that cited current and former US and Indian security officials.

Pannun is among the main leaders of the Khalistani movement and the spokesperson for now-banned Sikhs for Justice (SFJ). India has declared Gurpatwant Singh Pannun a terrorist.

India Declined Allegations

India last year declined the allegations by the US, stating that the alleged conspiracy against Pannun was “contrary to government policy”. In order to investigate the murder plot allegations, the government also set up a high-level inquiry committee in November last year.

The American daily claimed that the investigation of the “Indian assassination plots” in North America was based on interviews with over three dozen current and former senior officials in the United States, India, Canada, Britain, Germany and Australia. However, most of them discussed on the condition of anonymity due to security concerns and the topic’s sensitivity, it added.

Responding to questions regarding the report, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated that an investigation is currently underway, with the Department of Justice (DOJ) leading a criminal inquiry. “This is a serious matter and we’re taking that very very seriously. The Government of India has been very clear with us that they are taking this seriously and will investigate,” she said.

India last year declined the allegations by the US, stating that the alleged conspiracy against Pannun was “contrary to government policy”. In order to investigate the murder plot allegations, the government also set up a high-level inquiry committee in November last year.

The alleged plot to assassinate Pannun in the US took place around the same time as the fatal shooting of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, British Columbia province, Canada, in June last year.

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