Gurpatwant Pannun assassination plot: US media report reveals RAW official who ‘hired hit team’

NSA Ajit Doval probably aware of RAW’s plan to kill the Khalistan separatist: Report

Pannun Assassination Plot Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun | PTI

A recent US media report states that a hit team was hired by a Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) officer to plot an attack on Khalistani separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. Vikram Yadav, in one of the messages to the hit team, wrote that the assassination is a "priority", reported the Washington Post.  

According to the report, Yadav forwarded the details about the target, Pannun, including his New York address.

However, the Washington Post report claimed that the Ministry of External Affairs declined to comment on the article. 

The report further added that "the assassination would be carried out when they confirm that Pannun was home". 

Earlier, the US intelligence agencies assessed that the operation targeting Pannun was approved by the RAW chief at the time, Samant Goel. The intelligence agencies also had said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's national security adviser, Ajit Doval, was probably aware of the RAW's plan to kill Pannun, a US citizen. 

A Financial Times report in November 2022 said that the US had foiled a plot to kill Pannun. It further added that the US issued "a warning" to the Indian government over its alleged involvement in the plotting to kill the Khalistan separatist. 

However, India's investigation behind the plot revealed that rogue operatives were behind it. Reportedly, India claimed that the operatives were not in any way authorised by the government. 

The federal prosecutors had accused Nikhil Gupta, an Indian national, of his role in conspiring with the Indian government to kill Pannun. An amount of $1,00,000 was promised to pay the assassin, alleged the prosecutors. India had set up a committee to look into these allegations.

Pannun, a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, is the founder of Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), an outfit banned by India for its alleged anti-national activities under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. In 2020, Pannun was labelled as a terrorist under the provisions of the UAPA as well. 

Join our WhatsApp Channel to get the latest news, exclusives and videos on WhatsApp