India has constituted a high-level enquiry committee to look into the security concerns raised by the US government, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Wednesday.
The US has recently alleged that its government, at the highest level, conveyed concerns to India and provided inputs on a "nexus between organised criminals, gun runners and terrorists".
The claim by the US government came in the wake of a news report stating that a plot to assassinate Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American territory was foiled by US authorities.
In response to this claim, India said that the US inputs "are a cause of concern for both countries" and necessary follow-up action would be taken.
"During the course of recent discussions on India-US security cooperation, the US side shared some inputs pertaining to nexus between organised criminals, gun runners, terrorists and others. The inputs are a cause of concern for both countries and they decided to take necessary follow-up action," MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a statement issued earlier.
According to a report by the Financial Times last week, there was a plot to assassinate Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a US-Canadian national, who serves as the general counsel for Sikhs for Justice and is recognized as a terrorist in India.
The issue was reportedly brought up by US President Joe Biden in a discussion with Indian Prime Minister Modi at the G20 summit held in New Delhi in September.
On Wednesday, the MEA spokesperson made a detailed statement reiterating how India takes such inputs seriously.
"We have already said that during the course of discussions with the US on bilateral security cooperation, the US side shared some inputs pertaining to nexus between organized criminals, gun runners, terrorists and others. We had also indicated that India takes such inputs seriously since they impinge on our national security interests as well, and relevant departments were already examining the issue. In this context, it is informed that on 18 November 2023, the Government of India constituted a high-level Enquiry Committee to look into all the relevant aspects of the matter. Government of India will take necessary follow-up action based on the finding of the Enquiry Committee," the MEA statement read.
This comes after India has rejected Canada's claims regarding alleged involvement of Indian government agents in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil in June.
Nijjar was killed by unidentified gunmen near a Gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia.
Earlier this week, in an interview to a Canadian news channel, India's High Commissioner to Canada Sanjay Kumar Verma shed light on the disparities between the information shared by the United States and Canada with regard to alleged assassination plots against Khalistan separatists.
While referring to the Financial Times report, Verma said that while Washington provided "legally presentable" inputs to Delhi on the plot involving Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Ottawa shared only "allegations" related to the killing of separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, reported Indian Express.
Verma also emphasised that the Indian connections mentioned by the US were not associated with the government of India but with individuals in the country.
This marks the first instance where a senior Indian official has explicitly differentiated between the information shared by the two North American nations.
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