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fbi: NIA may take up Khalistani terrorist Pannun issue during FBI chief’s visit to India next week

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With Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray expected to visit India next week, sources have said that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is preparing to take up the issue of Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun with the visiting US official.

It is expected that Wray will meet officials of both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as well as NIA here in the national capital during his India visit, said sources.

The US ambassador to India Eric Garcetti confirmed at an event in Delhi on Wednesday about the visit of FBI Director Christopher Wray next week.

Wray’s planned visit comes amid a US federal investigation into an alleged plot to assassinate Sikh radical Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil, for which the US administration levelled allegations against an Indian national and an Indian agency official.

Speaking about India-US relations during a panel discussion at the Carnegie ‘Global Technology Summit’ held in New Delhi, Ambassador Eric Garcetti said, “This was the Number 1 country she (US Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen) went to outside the United States. Four times this year. The Secretary of State (Antony Blinken) just came here for the third time. Secretary of Defence (Lloyd Austin) for the second time. The FBI director is here next week.”

The FBI Director’s visit, aimed at strengthening cooperation between the United States and India on a range of law enforcement issues, comes days after US Principal Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA), Jonathan Finer, was in Delhi to meet with Vikram Misri, India’s Deputy National Security Adviser.During the meeting, the issue of the assassination plot had come up.Last month, the United States charged an Indian national named Nikhil Gupta with conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire and murder-for-hire charges for allegedly plotting to assassinate Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in New York City.

As per the Court documents filed by the US Justice Department, an unnamed Indian government official colluded with Gupta in the plot to kill Pannun.

Subsequently, New Delhi has formed a high-level special Enquiry Committee to thoroughly investigate the issue.

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