NEW YORK: Pro-Khalistan activists on Sunday confronted the Indian envoy India's failed plot to assassinate Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, general counsel to Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) and spokesperson for the global Khalistan Referendum campaign, leaving him with no option but to flee from there.
Pro-Khalistan activists asked questions from Indian envoy Taranjit Singh Sandhu over his role in the failed bid to assassinate Pannun.
Himmat Singh, who led the pro-Khalistan Sikhs at Hicksville Gurdwara in New York, also accused Sandhu of New Delhi’s role in the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The slain Sikh leader was the president of Surrey Gurdwara in Canada and the coordinator for the Canadian chapter of the Khalistan Referendum.
Agitated by the questioning, Sandhu aborted his visit and fled hastily without answering any of the questions raised by the Sikhs.
“I only wanted answers from Ambassador Sandhu as to why India is using violence to stop the global Khalistan Referendum voting,” said Himmat who heads the East Coast Coordination Committee.
“American constitution gives US citizens the right to peacefully question anyone irrespective of their affiliation or position in the government,” said Pannun who was the target of India's assassination plot.
“Despite India’s attempt to assassinate me, Khalistan Referendum Voting will continue and the American Phase is going to start from 28th January 2024 in San Francisco, California,” stated Pannun.
Last week, the US authorities said they thwarted an Indian conspiracy to assassinate Pannun on American soil and issued a warning to New Delhi over concerns it was involved in the plot, according to multiple people familiar with the case who spoke to the Financial Times (FT).
The UK media report citing intelligence people familiar with the case said that the Indian government was behind the plot to kill Pannun.
The lawyer is running a worldwide campaign called Khalistan Referendum in which over 1.3 million Sikhs have voted, so far.
The US informed some allies about the plot following the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian Sikh separatist killed in Vancouver in June.
In September, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there were “credible allegations” linking New Delhi to Nijjar’s fatal shooting.
The publication said that one person familiar with the situation said the US protest was issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a high-profile state visit to Washington in June.
FT revealed that separate from the diplomatic warning, US federal prosecutors have filed a sealed indictment against at least one alleged perpetrator of the plot in a New York district court, according to people familiar with the case.
The US justice department is debating whether to unseal the indictment and make the allegations public or wait until Canada finishes its investigation into Nijjar’s murder, said the paper.
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