“If someone gives us any information, we would definitely look into it,” the Prime Minister told the Financial Times, “If a citizen of ours has done anything good or bad, we are ready to look into it.”
New Delhi: Allegations an Indian national conspired to murder an American-Canadian citizen – Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun – will be examined, but “a few incidents” cannot derail ties between India and the United States, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Tuesday, in his first public remarks since US federal prosecutors last month announced murder-for-hire charges against Nikhil Gupta.
“If someone gives us any information, we will definitely look into it,” the Prime Minister told the Financial Times, “If a citizen of ours has done anything, good or bad, we are ready to look into it. Our commitment is to the rule of law.”
“There is, however, also strong bipartisan support for the strengthening of the India-US relationship, which is a clear indicator of a mature and stable partnership,” the Prime Minister told the British daily, which was the first to break news of Mr Gupta being charged, based on information from its sources..
The Prime Minister – a frequent visitor to the US since 2014, most recently a State visit in June – flagged “security and cooperation in counter-terrorism” as key parts of that partnership, and said, “I don’t think it is appropriate to link a few incidents with diplomatic relations between the two countries.”
US authorities said Nikhil Gupta, 52, and an Indian government staffer- code-named CC-1 – exchanged telephonic and electronic communications starting May, in which the latter asked the former to plan the murder.
In return, he was promised assistance in dropping a criminal case against him in India. The two also met in person, in Delhi, US prosecutors said. Mr Gupta is accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill Pannun, but that individual turned out to be an undercover American federal agent.