India seeks US help to prosecute Gurpatwant Singh Pannun : The Tribune India

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India seeks US help to prosecute Gurpatwant Singh Pannun

Flags concerns over terrorist’s threat to Air India, Parliament | Delinks case from FBI chief’s visit next week

India seeks US help to prosecute Gurpatwant Singh Pannun

S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister. File photo

Tribune News Service

Sandeep Dikshit

New Delhi, December 7

The government has sought assistance from the US regarding violation of Indian laws by Khalistani terrorist and Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) founder Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said here on Thursday.

SFJ founder Wanted for sedition, terror

  • Gurpatwant Pannun has been designated ‘individual terrorist’ by MHA under the UAPA
  • Booked in two dozen cases in Punjab for sedition, rioting, terror
  • Interpol has twice rejected India’s request for issuing a red corner notice against him

Hindi moviegoers evacuated in Canada

  • Several moviegoers in theatres of 3 Greater Toronto Area regions in Canada were evacuated
  • Some were treated for exposure to an unknown substance sprayed by masked men
  • They started coughing after the irritating substance was sprayed

The government has also flagged to the US and Canada concerns about threats by Pannun to attack Parliament as well as dissuade people abroad from boarding Air India flights. “Pannun is wanted by our agencies for violation of law. There is a process by which we seek assistance. Requests have gone through detailing the crimes he was responsible for in India and hence what kind of assistance New Delhi would require from foreign countries,” said MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi when asked if India had demanded that the US arrest and prosecute Pannun. Designated ‘individual terrorist’ under the UAPA, Pannun has been booked in two dozen cases in Punjab for sedition, rioting and terror. However, the Interpol has twice rejected India’s request for issuing a red corner notice against him.

On Pannun’s latest threat to attack Parliament, the spokesperson said, “Yes, we do take threats seriously depending on the context. In the specific case about Parliament… we are caught in a bind here. I don’t want to amplify or give too much credence to such extremists who make threats and get lots of coverage. We have taken up the matter with the US and Canadian authorities.”

Bagchi said FBI Director Christopher Wray’s India visit next week was prearranged. It comes against the backdrop of the US alleging Indian Government’s link in a foiled plot to kill Pannun in New York.

The US media has reported that CIA Director William Burns and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines had visited India in August and October, respectively, to demand a probe and hold those responsible for the “lethal plotting” to account. Wray would visit soon after US Principal Deputy NSA Jonathan Finer’s New Delhi trip where he brought up the Pannun issue, according to a US readout. Finer had met Jaishankar, Ajit Doval and others.

No unequal treatment to us, canada charges: EAM

S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister, has denied that India is extending unequal treatment to the US and Canada on their allegations regarding the Indian Government’s links in cases of transnational repression. Canada had earlier alleged Indian role in killing of terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

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