India strongly denies claims of directing action against Khalistani terrorists, highlighting ‘fabricated’ nature of reports and warning against false narratives.
New Delhi [India]: India vehemently refuted recent claims of directing consulates in North America to initiate a crackdown on Khalistani terrorists, dismissing the reports as “fake and completely fabricated,” stated Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on Sunday.
Reacting strongly to the allegations circulated in a report by The Intercept, Arindam Bagchi clarified, “We strongly assert that such reports are fake and completely fabricated. There is no such memo.” He further emphasized that the disseminated information forms part of a “sustained disinformation campaign against India,” asserting the involvement of the media outlet in propagating narratives linked to Pakistani intelligence.
“This is part of a sustained disinformation campaign against India. The outlet in question is known for propagating fake narratives peddled by Pakistani intelligence. The posts of the authors confirm this linkage,” added Bagchi, cautioning against the credibility of sources amplifying such false claims.
The report by The Intercept alleged the issuance of a “secret memo” by the Ministry of External Affairs in April 2023, purportedly instructing consulates in North America to execute a sophisticated crackdown on Sikh diaspora organizations. The memo, as per The Intercept, included details about several Sikh dissidents under Indian intelligence investigation, including Hardeep Singh Nijjar, labeled as a Khalistani terrorist.
Contrary to the report, Bagchi clarified that no such directive was issued for the killings of Khalistani separatists. Instead, the alleged memo, as outlined by The Intercept, instructed Indian consular officials to collaborate with India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), National Investigation Agency (NIA), and Intelligence Bureau (IB).
Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a figure of interest in India’s investigations, was fatally shot outside a Gurdwara in Surrey, Canada, earlier in June. The National Investigation Agency had previously announced a cash reward for his capture. Nijjar, originating from Bharsinghpur village in Punjab’s Jalandhar, was labeled an “absconder” by the NIA.
Previously, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had made allegations of Indian involvement in Nijjar’s assassination on Canadian soil, a claim that India dismissed as “absurd and motivated.” According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Canada has not substantiated these allegations with any credible evidence.
The strong rebuttal from India reiterates its stance on these accusations, emphasizing the need for accurate and substantiated claims before jumping to conclusions that could damage diplomatic relations.