Sikh Assassinations: US Exposes Modi-Doval Hubris

The United States Department of Justice has filed an indictment alleging that an Indian agent hired an assassin to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a Sikh separatist. It seems that the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his National Security Advisor Ajit Doval now believe in their own hype about India being a superpower that can get away with murdering American citizens on the US soil. 

Sikh Leaders: Gurpatwant Singh Pannun (L), Hardeep Singh Nijjar (Mid), Paramjeet Singh Panwar (R)

Earlier, a Canadian Sikh leader named Hardeep Singh Nijjar was murdered in June this year in British Columbia.  The US DOJ believes that Nikhil Gupta was involved in both the killing in Canada of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, and the attempted murder in New York, He is reported to have told an associate two days before the Nijjar’s slaying: “we are doing their job, brother. We are doing their New York [and] Canada [job],” according to the indictment. He lives in India and was arrested on the charges in the Czech Republic on June 30, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Gupta's plot to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun was foiled in a US sting operation involving an informant who was being recruited by him to be the hitman. 

“Modi and Doval have a much more macho approach to statecraft, including taking a more risky approach in intel operations in order to say, ‘Look at how tough I am in protecting India’s interests’,” said Paul McGarr, a specialist in South Asian security and intelligence at King's College London, according to France24 news agency. “RAW could do it before, but wouldn’t have conducted assassinations without Modi’s approval,” added McGarr. “RAW has got the political license to kill under Modi.” 

The US DOJ decision to go public with charges came after President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and CIA Director William Burns warned India of potential consequences for the U.S.-India relationship over the actions, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

The Indian government is engaged in a worldwide assassination campaign targeting Sikhs and Kashmiris seen as "terrorists" by New Delhi, according to leaked documents of Pakistani intelligence agencies.  Inside Pakistan, a spate of assassinations and other attacks in recent years targeted people alleged to be involved in Sikh and Kashmiri activism as well as Islamist militancy inside India, according to The Intercept.  Last month, the Pakistani government arrested people it believes were involved in targeted killings of Sikhs and Kashmiris inside Pakistan. 

Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said her country remained a “target of a series of targeted killings and espionage by (Indian Intelligence Agency) RAW".  “In December last year, Pakistan released a comprehensive dossier providing concrete and irrefutable evidence of India’s involvement in the Lahore attack of June 2021. The attack was planned and executed by Indian intelligence,” she said, adding that in 2016, a high-ranking Indian military officer Kulbhushan Jadhav confessed to his involvement in directing, financing and executing terror and sabotage in Pakistan.

Narendra Modi has a long history of murdering minorities in his country. After the Gujarat anti-Muslim pogrom of 2002, Narendra Modi made the cover of India Today magazine with the caption "Hero of Hatred". Modi was denied a visa to visit the United States.  The US visa ban on Modi was lifted in 2014 after he became prime minister. Since then,  Narendra Modi's image has been rehabilitated by the West as the US and Western Europe seek allies in Asia to counter the rise of China.  However, Modi's actions on the ground in India confirm that he remains "Hero of Hatred" and "Divider In Chief" at his core.  A recent two-part BBC documentary explains this reality in significant detail. The first part focuses on the 2002 events in Gujarat when Modi as the state chief minister ordered the police to not stop the Hindu mobs murdering Muslims and burning their homes and businesses.  The second part looks at Modi government's anti-Muslim policies, including the revocation of Kashmir's autonomy (article 370) and a new citizenship law (CAA 2019) that discriminates against Muslims. It shows the violent response by security forces to peaceful protests against the new laws, and interviews the family members of people who were killed in the 2020 Delhi riots orchestrated by Modi's allies. 

Here's Indian National Security Advisor on how to use Taliban to attack Pakistan:

https://youtu.be/eYRuk8H5M9E?si=ZB1c7Dd8ntQdKeFi

http://www.youtube.com/embed/eYRuk8H5M9E?si=kioJoC8X-6nHSzSV"; title="YouTube video player" width="560"></iframe>" height="315" src="https://img1.blogblog.com/img/video_object.png" width="560" style="cursor: move; background-color: #b2b2b2;" /> 

 Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Karan Thapar Dismantles Official Indian Narrative on Kulbhushan Jadhav

Why is India Sponsoring Terror in Pakistan? 

Indian Agent Kubhushan Yadav's Confession

Has Modi Stepped Up India's Covert War in Pakistan?

Ex India Spy Documents Successful RAW Ops in Pakistan

London Police Document Confirms MQM-RAW Connection Testimony

India's Ex Spooks Blame Kulbhushan Jadhav For Getting Caught

Ajit Doval Lecture on "How to Tackle Pakistan" 

Mohan Lal Bhaskar: An Indian Raw Agent in Pakistan

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Comment by Riaz Haq on December 1, 2023 at 9:38pm
#US Senate To Hold Hearings on #India’s #Sikh Murder Plot. “We are witnessing an alarming rise in transnational repression globally, where governments are dispatching assassins and kidnappers or using international criminal networks to abduct, harass..”
New Delhi: Hours after US federal prosecutors claimed that an Indian government official led the plot to kill an American Sikh citizen on that country’s soil, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair announced that he will hold a hearing next week to “examine the scope of global transnational repression and how the United States government can more effectively counter this pernicious threat”.
 
The US Department of Justice announced the unsealing of an indictment which alleged that an Indian government official plotted to assassinate a US citizen in New York City who is a vocal government critic and labelled as a terrorist by the Narendra Modi government. The identity of the target was revealed by the media as Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. The plot was thwarted by US law enforcement agencies.
 
 

“We are witnessing an alarming rise in transnational repression globally, where governments are dispatching assassins and kidnappers or using international criminal networks to abduct, harass, intimidate, and harm dissidents, journalists, and other individuals – far beyond their borders,” said US Senator Ben Cardin (Democrat, Maryland) in a statement.

“The disturbing news of a foiled assassination plot against a U.S. citizen involving Indian government officials further underscores the importance of shedding light on efforts by governments to silence dissenters living abroad. Next week, I will be chairing a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that will examine the scope of global transnational repression and how the United States government can more effectively counter this pernicious threat.”

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee plays a major role in shaping the country’s foreign policy. The committee is responsible for overseeing US foreign aid programmes, arms sales and training for allies, and holding confirmation hearings for high-level positions in the Department of State.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 4, 2023 at 4:38pm

As #US fingers #India's #Intelligence Agency in #Sikh assassinations, #RAW is forced to cease operations in North America fir the first time since inception in 1968. Agents withdrawn from #UK too. #Modi #Doval #Canada #Pakistan https://theprint.in/diplomacy/top-officers-expelled-after-nijjar-ki...

PRAVEEN SWAMI


London: Two senior Research and Analysis Wing officers were asked to leave their stations in major Western cities earlier this summer, ahead of a decision by United States prosecutors to initiate criminal charges in the wake of the spy agency’s alleged role in an assassination campaign targeting pro-Khalistan activists, intelligence sources have told ThePrint.

---

The officers were the head of the RAW station in San Francisco and the second-in-command of its operations in London, the sources said. These are mutually disclosed positions and are not undercover.

The officers are of senior and mid-senior levels in the Indian Police Service (IPS). ThePrint is withholding their names as both remain in service with RAW.

In addition, the Government of India was denied permission to post an officer to replace RAW’s station chief in Washington, DC, who returned home earlier this year. The new officer, in line with long-standing RAW convention, was to have taken charge before the scheduled retirement of the organisation’s former chief, Samant Goel, on 30 June.

The shuttering of RAW’s stations in San Francisco and Washington DC, coming on the back of the publicly-declared expulsion of its station chief in Ottawa, Pavan Rai, has left the organisation unrepresented in North America for the first time since it was founded during the tenure of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1968.

Government sources pushed back against claims that the removal of the three officers was driven by Western pressure. Instead, they attributed them to a series of “unfortunate coincidences of personal, family and administrative issues”.


“The third case, the long pause in assigning someone to Washington, is simply due to administrative factors,” one RAW officer said, adding that it “will be addressed soon”.

The murder ‘plot’ itself, the officer insisted, did not involve RAW and while the inquiry will show if any or some individuals acted “on an unauthorised basis”, the organisation can’t be blamed.

Prosecutors in the United States have claimed that ethnic-Punjabi alleged drug dealer Nikhil Gupta was offered up to $150,000 by an individual claiming to work for the Indian intelligence services to arrange the murder of an unnamed Khalistan lawyer and activist.

Though the indictment does not name the purported victim or the Indian intelligence service, government sources have told ThePrint that US officials told interlocutors in New Delhi that RAW conspired to assassinate top Khalistan activist and lawyer Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

Following the gangland-style killing of alleged Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June, The Washington Post revealed Wednesday that US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director William Burns had met with their counterparts in India earlier this year to demand accountability in the case.

The expulsion of the RAW officer in San Francisco, Indian government sources said, was intended to underline their message that the US would not cooperate with Indian intelligence if the agency continued offensive operations in the West, an Indian intelligence officer familiar with the case said.

Even though national security officials in the UK gave no reasons for asking for the removal of the RAW officer from London, a second officer noted, the action seemed to be of a symbolic nature, since it targeted the junior of two so-called “disclosed” positions at the High Commission of India in the city, whose status as intelligence officers is known to the host government.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 5, 2023 at 8:53pm

Why India Is Targeting Sikhs At Home and Around the World | TIME


https://time.com/6342873/india-sikhs-persecution/

By Simran Jeet Singh and Gunisha Kaur


India began its nation-building project, bringing the immense challenge of forging a common identity among large and religiously, linguistically, and culturally diverse populations. What a majority of the total population shared, though, was a Hindu identity, and this religion became the center around which political leaders decided to coalesce Indian national identity, much to the dismay of India’s minority populations.

Indian leadership came to see religious minorities as a threat to their nation-building project, viewing Sikhs with particular suspicion and disdain, recognizing they catalyzed anti-colonial efforts and played a leading role in them. They were also aware that Sikhs still had recent memories of political autonomy in Punjab. Indian elites worried about Punjab becoming a majority Sikh state that would gain in political power and threaten the stability of young India. This led Indian leadership to deny Punjab and its Sikhs consequential rights that were afforded to other states, including official language status for Punjabi and its own state capital. India also weakened Punjab’s political power by carving out territory from it for other states, such as Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Moreover, contravening riparian law, an international norm, India diverted Punjab’s river waters to other states and regions, a massive economic blow to the state long-known as the breadbasket of India, and a threat to the livelihood of Punjab’s agrarian society.



Punjabi Sikhs soon began agitating against the Indian government, protesting the erosion of its cultural, economic, and political rights. In 1978, Sikh leadership drafted the Anandpur Sahib Resolution, which laid out a list of demands to safeguard the rights of Sikhs in Punjab and other minorities around India.

A charismatic Sikh leader from a religious seminary emerged during this period, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, whose ascent caught the eye of the Indian government. Bhindranwale spoke adamantly against the infringements of the Indian state, which by this stage had escalated to include gross human rights violations. He called on Sikhs and minorities everywhere to stand up against oppression. Citing him as an anti-national who threatened India’s stability, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi launched a military assault against him and his followers at the Golden Temple of Amritsar—the most significant site for Sikhs—on a major religious holiday. Bhindranwale was killed in the assault, along with thousands of other Sikh pilgrims who were worshipping there.

The global Sikh community was furious about the government’s attack and demanded justice. In this moment, the movement for a separate Sikh homeland was reborn. Bhindranwale had stated openly that he neither supported nor rejected the idea of Khalistan – but that if the Indian government ever invaded the Golden Temple complex, the foundation for an independent Sikh homeland would be laid.



Later that year, Ms. Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards, presumably to avenge her assault on the Golden Temple. In the days that followed, the ruling Congress Party, utilizing state agencies and infrastructure, organized violent anti-Sikh pogroms across North India, focused primarily on the Indian capital of New Delhi. The pogroms left thousands of Sikhs dead, thousands more displaced, and all Sikhs wondering if they could ever have a home in India.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 5, 2023 at 8:53pm

Why India Is Targeting Sikhs At Home and Around the World | TIME


https://time.com/6342873/india-sikhs-persecution/

By Simran Jeet Singh and Gunisha Kaur

Bhindranwale’s prediction came true. The anti-Sikh violence of 1984 made many Sikhs feel like the pattern of abuses under Indian leadership would not end, and it fueled a new movement for Sikh self-determination. In July of 1984, Sikhs gathered in Madison Garden in New York City and announced their commitment “to support the struggle of Sikhs in the Punjab for self-determination and the preservation of their distinct and religious identity.” Less than two years later, thousands of Sikhs gathered at the Golden Temple in their political tradition of Sarbat Khalsa and announced a resolution to recognize Khalistan.

From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, Punjab was enmeshed in a violent struggle. A segment of the Sikh population took up armed resistance, with the aim of winning an independent Sikh state, free from the tyranny of India. This period of insurgency is often what westerners mean when they are referring to the Khalistan Movement.



While India accused militants of targeting politicians and civilians, Indian security forces employed widespread and systematic abuses for over a decade, including torture, murder, and enforced disappearances, targeting anyone it suspected of being involved in the insurgency or political movement for self-determination. In the years since, human rights defenders and researchers have uncovered the extent of India’s atrocity crimes. In 1995, human rights defender Jaswant Singh Khalra released official records demonstrating Punjab Police had abducted, killed and secretly cremated thousands of Punjabi Sikhs. Punjab Police subsequently abducted, tortured, and killed Khalra for refusing to retract his findings. In 2017, new evidence demonstrated more than 8,000 additional extra-judicial killings, bringing total estimates to 25,000.

Although the violent conflict subsided by the mid-1990s, the culture of impunity for gross human rights violations and extra-judicial violence continues to grip Punjab. None of the chief architects of the crimes against humanity have been brought to account, nor have survivors and their communities been given reparations. Moreover, the government continues to use the specter of terrorism to target its critics, and the central issue of the denuding of Punjab’s river waters serves as a continuing flashpoint.

This tension was evident over the last couple of years, when India attacked Sikhs during the 2022 Farmers Protests by calling the protestors “Khalistanis and “Anti-nationals.” The accusations fell on deaf ears, with global recognition that Sikhs and others were organizing to protect their agrarian livelihoods. The government used these same tactics this past spring during their manhunt for Sikh leader Amritpal Singh—again, using the threat of national security to violate human rights, targeting journalists and community organizers in dragnet operations. Sikhs have become desensitized to these spurious accusations, well accustomed to the cynical nationalist playbook: demonize minorities to galvanize the Hindu majority. That this strategy is being deployed in the midst of an election year is no coincidence. Modi and his BJP regime have used this program diligently for two decades.



And yet, the Indian government’s alleged attempts to kill foreign nationals on foreign soil indicate a shifting approach. Modi’s India is now willing to engage transnational repression and murder of his critics, joining the ranks of China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia with these practices.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 11, 2023 at 1:34pm

Dr. Audrey Truschke
@AudreyTruschke
Disinfo Labs — a group that promotes far-right Hindutva conspiracy theories against critics of the Modi government — is an Indian intelligence operation, WaPo reports.

Some thoughts on why this matters —

https://x.com/AudreyTruschke/status/1734210988625305897?s=20

-------------------

EU DisinfoLab
@DisinfoEU
Many of you read
@wapo
’s investigation and we want to reiterate that there's no association between us and 'The DisinfoLab', an Indian entity.

@gerryshih
revealed their connections to Indian Intelligence and a deliberate use of our name to leverage our established credibility.

https://x.com/DisinfoEU/status/1734220723764236601?s=20

---------------

Covert Indian operation seeks to discredit Modi’s critics in the U.S. - The Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/10/india-the-disinfo-l...

The Disinfo Lab, which at one point consisted of about a dozen private contractors working out of a four-story whitewashed building on a leafy street in New Delhi, was created in mid-2020 by Lt. Col. Dibya Satpathy, now 39, an intelligence officer who has worked to shape international perceptions of India, said the three people familiar with the operation. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive intelligence activities.

Satpathy was initially commissioned as an infantry officer and served in the army’s intelligence and public information units, said a person briefed on his military personnel record. That person and another source close to the military said Satpathy was later detailed to his current posting with India’s external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). Over the years, Satpathy has introduced himself to Western journalists and commentators under fake identities — including his preferred alias, Shakti, meaning “power” in Hindi — and sought favorable coverage of India or critical coverage of its adversaries, Pakistan and China, according to five additional people who have had contact with Satpathy.

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