The US has said it has foiled a reported plot to kill a Sikh separatist on American soil and has taken up the issue with the Indian government "at the senior-most levels", according to a report in The Financial Times of London.
The daily identified Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who reportedly holds American and Canadian nationalities, as the target of the foiled plot, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
India's home ministry banned the Sikh Foundation for Justice on July 10, 2019 under the stringent anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and Pannun was designated an "individual terrorist" on July 1, 2020.
The FT report yesterday came two days after India's counter-terror body National Investigation Agency filed a case against Pannun on Monday for warning people not to fly by Air India.
Citing "multiple people familiar with the case", the British newspaper said the US conveyed concerns to India over the alleged plot, without elaborating further.
Reacting to the FT report, the Indian External Affairs Ministry yesterday said in a statement that it takes inputs on security matters from the US seriously since they impinge on its own national security concerns as well.
"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," India's Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Arindam Bagchi said in response to queries on the FT report without mentioning the London-based daily.
This FT report came two months after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had alleged that security agencies of his country were investigating "credible allegations" about a potential link between Indian government agents and the killing of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Vancouver in June. The Indian government had rejected Canada's allegations as "absurd" and "motivated".
Trudeau's allegation has plunged India-Canada relations to a new low with both the countries expelling one diplomat of each and Ottawa withdrawing its 41 diplomats from India on India's insistence.
India had also suspended visa to Canadians for more than a month since September before resuming the service to certain categories of people and restarting yesterday electronic visa for all categories.