India Needs To Take It Seriously: Trudeau On US Charges
OTTAWA, (IANS) – Hours after the US charged an Indian national with conspiracy to assassinate a New York-based Sikh separatist, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that New Delhi needs to take the charge “seriously” and cooperate in the investigations.
Trudeau, who had been saying since September that Indian agents were involved in the killing of its citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar, told CBC News that they have been working closely with their American counterparts on the “serious” allegations.
“The news coming out of the US further underscores what we’ve been talking about from the very beginning, which is… India needs to take this seriously,” Trudeau told reporters on November 29.
“The Indian government needs to work with us to ensure that we’re getting to the bottom of this. This is not something that anyone can take lightly,” he added.
The Prime Minister further said that his responsibility is to keep “Canadians safe, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”
US prosecutors on November 29 filed murder-for-hire charges against Indian national Nikhil Gupta for involvement in a foiled plot to assassinate a US citizen allegedly on behalf of an Indian government official.
Neither the “government employee”, nor Khalistan leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, were named in the document. Pannun was only identified as a “US citizen.”
The indictment alleged that the Indian official recruited Gupta in or around May 2023 to assassinate Pannun — a designated terrorist in India.
Gupta, in turn, got in touch with a man he believed to be a “criminal associate” but was a confidential source of the US Drug Enforcement Agency.
India said it has constituted a high-level inquiry committee to investigate the security concerns raised by the US government.