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MEA dismisses Washington Post report naming RAW officer in plot to kill Pannun

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New Delhi: Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal on Tuesday dismissed as “unwarranted and unsubstantiated imputations”, a Washington Post report that revealed the name of a RAW officer allegedly involved in a failed attempt to kill Khalistani separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in the US.

In a statement, Jaiswal said that a probe in on by a high-level committee set up by the Indian government to look into “security concerns shared by the US”, and that “speculative and irresponsible comments on it are not helpful”.

The statement read: “The report in question makes unwarranted and unsubstantiated imputations on a serious matter.

“There is an ongoing investigation of the High Level Committee set up by the Government of India to look into the security concerns shared by the US government on networks of organised criminals, terrorists and others.

“Speculative and irresponsible comments on it are not helpful.”

The Washington Post report had said that Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) officer Vikram Yadav was allegedly involved in the failed assassination plot to assassinate Khalistani extremist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil, and added that the operation was sanctioned by then spy chief Samant Goel.

The Washington Post report quotes unnamed former US and Indian security officials to claim that Yadav had enlisted a “hit team” to carry out the alleged assassination bid, and had also transmitted Pannun’s contact information, including his New York address, to the would-be assassins.

It said that Yadav was a CRPF officer who moved to the RAW.

The report added that the US Justice Department has opted not to bring charges against Yadav for the time being as part of the US’ strategy not to disrupt ties with India.

The Washington Post report goes on to claim that “US spy agencies have more tentatively assessed that Modi’s national security adviser, Ajit Doval, was probably aware of RAW’s plans to kill Sikh activists, but officials emphasised that no smoking gun proof has emerged”.

India had set up a high-level inquiry committee in November 2023 to probe the murder plot allegations

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