Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, founder of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) and spokesman for the Khalistan Referendum, has reacted strongly to the charges against Nikhil Gupta and other Indian state officials in an assassination plot.
Pannun asserted that these charges effectively implicate Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, known for his stance against dissent and criticism. He emphasized that the charges stem from his role in organizing the Khalistan Referendum, a movement advocating for the independence of Punjab from India.
Pannun praised the US government for upholding its constitutional duty to safeguard the life, liberty, and freedom of expression of US citizens. He highlighted that this commitment forms the foundation of American democracy. The indictment, which accuses Indian agents and officials of conspiring to assassinate Pannun, was seen as a validation of his efforts and the seriousness of the threat against him.
Pannun’s Stand on Khalistan Referendum
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun expressed his readiness to face any consequences, including death, for his involvement in the Khalistan movement. He condemned the assassination attempt on his life as an act of transnational terrorism by India, posing a challenge to American sovereignty and democratic values. Despite the threats, Pannun remains committed to organizing the Khalistan Referendum, scheduled to take place in San Francisco on January 28, 2024.
Pannun accused the Modi-led Indian government of extending its policy of violently suppressing the Sikh movement for self-determination beyond Indian borders. He recalled past incidents, including the extrajudicial killings of pro-Khalistan Sikhs in Punjab during the 1990s and the assassination of Nijjar in Canada, as examples of India’s tactics against the Sikh movement.
The US law enforcement authorities have filed “murder-for-hire” charges against Indian national Gupta in what they described as a “foiled plot to assassinate” Pannun in New York City. The indictment details Gupta’s alleged involvement in international narcotics and weapons trafficking and his direction by an Indian government official to execute the plot. This development represents a significant moment in the ongoing Khalistan movement and its international implications.