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India to Probe Alleged Sikh Separatist Plot Linked to US Warning

India has promised a formal probe into the US's security worries about New Delhi's alleged involvement to a foiled plot.

India has pledged a formal investigation into security concerns raised by the United States regarding New Delhi’s purported ties to a thwarted plot aimed at a Sikh separatist leader. 

The Foreign Ministry assured a thorough inquiry in response to the US warning, asserting its commitment to national security interests.

Sensitivity of the Situation:

This development arises at a crucial juncture for both India and the Biden administration, striving to fortify relations amid rising concerns over China’s growing influence, a common challenge for both democracies.

The White House confirmed having alerted India about its alleged involvement in a foiled scheme to assassinate Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a Sikh separatist leader. 

India has vowed to take the matter seriously and conduct a comprehensive investigation, promising necessary follow-up actions based on a panel’s findings formed on November 18.

Timeline of Events:

The Financial Times initially reported the thwarted plot against Pannun on November 22, prompting the US to communicate its concerns with India at the highest levels. 

Notably, the US had been sharing related details with India since April, culminating in discussions during the recent 2+2 dialogue in November.

Background on Sikh Separatist Movements:

Both the foiled plot in the US and allegations of Indian involvement in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada amplify concerns surrounding Sikh separatist movements advocating for Khalistan, an independent Sikh homeland from India. 

Despite now existing on the periphery of politics, Khalistan’s demand remains a sensitive issue for New Delhi.

India’s Stance and Call for Specifics:

India staunchly denies Canada’s accusations and requests concrete evidence to facilitate investigations. 

Sanjay Verma, India’s high commissioner to Canada, highlighted the need for precise and relevant information to substantiate the allegations, emphasizing India’s willingness to cooperate based on legally viable data.

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