Should India worry about US ambassador's comments on Gurpatwant Pannun case?

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, an individual of Indian origin with American and Canadian citizenship, has been the subject of repeated threats directed towards India.

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Eric Garcetti, the US ambassador to India, has underscored the need for maintaining a delicate balance in the relationship between India and the United States amid ongoing investigations into threats against Khalistani separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. Speaking to news agency ANI, Garcetti acknowledged cooperation between the two countries in probing the alleged assassination plot against Pannun but cautioned against crossing certain boundaries.

In his remarks, Garcetti acknowledged the protection of free speech within the American legal framework but cautioned against actions that could escalate tensions. Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, an individual of Indian origin with American and Canadian citizenship, has been the subject of repeated threats directed towards India.

The US ambassador's comments come in the wake of recent statements from the Joe Biden administration, affirming collaboration with Indian authorities to apprehend individuals involved in a plot to harm the Khalistani separatist on American soil.

Nikhil Gupta's charges

Nikhil Gupta, an Indian national, faced charges last November in connection with an alleged conspiracy to assassinate Pannun. According to US federal prosecutors, Gupta, in collaboration with an Indian government official, purportedly sought the services of an assassin to eliminate Pannun, offering a substantial sum of money for the task.

India has responded to these allegations by establishing an investigative committee to examine the matter closely.

Garcetti emphasized the necessity of adhering to legal boundaries, stating that while freedom of speech is protected under US law, actions that cross certain thresholds must be addressed. He stressed the importance of legal proceedings meeting the required standards for successful outcomes.

Threats against Air India, Indian Parliament

Pannun's previous threats, including those against Air India's operations and a potential attack on the Indian Parliament, have raised concerns. Garcetti condemned such actions, emphasizing the need for government officials to refrain from involvement in any form of violence against foreign nationals.

Addressing the attack on the Indian consulate in San Francisco, Garcetti expressed optimism regarding ongoing investigations. He assured that significant efforts are being made to resolve the matter and uphold diplomatic relations between the two nations.

The attack on the Consulate General of India in San Francisco occurred in March last year, followed by a subsequent attempt to set the building on fire in July.