‘Unwarranted’: MEA slams Washington Post report on plot to kill Pannun | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The Washington Post report which alleged involvement of top Indian officials, including former RAW chief Samant Goel, in the Pannun murder-for-hire plot makes unwarranted and unsubstantiated imputations on a serious matter, govt said on Tuesday in its first reaction to the story that also identified the Indian official who allegedly ordered the foiled attempt on Khalistan leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun’s life.
In a statement, govt said there is an ongoing investigation by the ‘high-level committee’ set up by India to look into the security concerns shared by US govt on “networks of organised criminals, terrorists and others”. “Speculative and irresponsible comments on it are not helpful,” said Randhir Jaiswal, spokesperson, ministry of external affairs.
India had formed the committee in Nov, but has so far not revealed anything about the outcome of the probe. The foreign ministry had earlier said India is probing the information shared by US authorities on the plot because it has a bearing on India’s security as well.

The US had last year indicted an Indian national, Nikhil Gupta, for his role in the Pannun murder plot and said in the indictment he was working for an Indian official it then identified as ‘CC-1’. The Washington Post report has now named the official who allegedly ordered the hit as Vikram Yadav. Indian govt is yet to confirm the identity of this official. While Gupta is currently awaiting extradition in Prague, the report said Yadav had been transferred to CISF after the Pannun plot unravelled.
Following the report, the White House said India is taking the allegations regarding the assassination plot seriously and that the US expects accountability.
Expect accountability from India on Pannun case: US
Indian govt is yet to confirm the identity of this official. While Gupta is currently awaiting extradition in Prague, the report said Yadav had been transferred to CISF after the Pannun plot unravelled.
Pannun, wanted in India on terror charges, holds dual citizenship of US and Canada. He has been designated as a terrorist by Union home ministry under anti-terror law — UAPA.
Following the report, White House said India is taking the allegations regarding the assassination plot of the Sikh separatist seriously and that US exp-ects accountability.
Asked about the investigative report, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “We’ve been really consistent about that and have laid that out multiple times, whether it’s a meeting here with the prime minister or a meeting abroad.”
“This is a serious matter and we’re taking that very very seriously. Govt of India has been very clear with us that they are taking this seriously and will investigate,” Jean-Pierre said.
“We expect accountability from the govt based on that. But we are going to continue to raise our concerns. That’s not going to stop. We’re going to continue to raise our concerns directly, with the Indian govt,” the press secretary added.

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