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US shared more specific info than Canada on probe surrounding Khalistan terrorists: Indian envoy

Verma stressed that India was 'absolutely and decidedly' involved in Nijjar's death and called on the Canadian administration to provide 'specific and relevant' information. He also clarified that the "legally presentable" US inputs had connections to India but not the Indian government.

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Ottawa (Canada) Published on: November 28, 2023 15:36 IST
Indian High Commissioner to Canada Sanjay Kumar Verma.
Image Source : INDIA IN CANADA/X Indian High Commissioner to Canada Sanjay Kumar Verma.

Indian High Commissioner to Canada Sanjay Kumar Verma has confirmed that New Delhi is cooperating with a US investigation into the reported failed assassination attempt on Khalistani leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, contrasting it with Canada, who he says is yet to provide any evidence about the killing of another terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Speaking more about the disparity between the two countries in providing information concerning the Khalistani terrorists, the Indian envoy explained that the US shared more specific information than Canada which has been a major factor in the difference in India's cooperation in both cases.

This comes after reports emerged that the US thwarted a plot to allegedly assassinate Pannun on American soil and informed India of the concerns regarding the matter. The Khalistani issue has been a topic of intense debate amid a diplomatic dispute between India and Canada over Nijjar's death.

India 'absolutely and decidedly' not involved in homicide: Verma

Verma stressed that India was 'absolutely and decidedly' involved in the homicide of Nijjar, who was killed by unidentified persons on June 18 in Surrey. He termed Trudeau's bombshell allegations as "motivated and absurd" and opined that the US had, in contrast, provided inputs that are "legally tenable".

"One is that the investigation in the case of the US, as far as I know and understand, because again, I don't oversee India-US relations is at a much advanced stage. And therefore, I presume that there would be better information shared within India," he said in an interview with CTV News.

Speaking on whether Canada has provided any information, Verma said that Indian authorities are not able to respond to any inputs as they contain conversations which are not specific or relevant to the case. "So we need to have those facts. And we are always ready to do that. If you look at the most recent incident to where there are some allegations put out in one of the newspapers against India, the US did provide us inputs. And we have already started following up on that," the Indian envoy said.

'US inputs believed to have Indian connections'

Last week, the Ministry of External Affairs confirmed that the US shared some inputs in connection with the nexus between organised criminals, terrorists, gun runners and others. Verma said that it is believed that there are some Indian connections but not with the Indian government.

"Those inputs are a nexus between gangsters, drug peddlers, terrorists, and gun runners in the U.S., and there is a belief that some of the Indian connections -- now when I say Indian connections, I don't mean the government of India connections, there is 1.4 billion people, so some of the Indian connections are there -- they are ready to investigate. Because we have got inputs, which are legally presentable," he said.

In a separate interview, Verma urged Canada to provide relevant information and said that the bilateral relations between the two countries should focus on convergence, as New Delhi is still open for business relations with Ottawa.

(with inputs from ANI)

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