On the heels of a high-profile visit to India by a senior director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), pro-Khalistan activists held a huge march on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco chanting slogans: "FBI, FBI - You Are Right - Modi Is Behind Murder Plots".
Over 1000 cars and trucks carrying Khalistan flags and "Wanted" banners with pictures of "Modi-Jaishankar-Sandhu" clogged Interstate I-80 to Highway 101 leading to the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, in one of the largest such demonstrations.
The Sikhs said they had assembled to support the American and Canadian investigations into India’s assassination plan against pro-Khalistan Sikhs. The rally was organised by Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) which is running the Khalistan Referendum voting campaign.
Referring to the American phase of Khalistan Referendum which will start from Jan 28, 2024, in San Francisco, SFJ General Counsel Gurpatwant Singh Pannun stated: "Undaunted by the looming assassination attempts, Sikh sovereignists will continue with the campaign for liberating Punjab from Indian occupation through Referendum.
"Modi cannot hide behind the sovereign immunity forever. We will get him arrested, prosecuted and convicted under the international law for his crimes against pro Khalistan Sikhs, Kashmiri Muslims and Christians in Manipur."
Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) founder and Khalistan Referendum spokesman Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said the assassination plot charges against Nikhil Gupta and other Indian state officials by the US authorities are in fact charges against Narendra Modi.
“Modi is directly involved in planning my assassination,” said the pro-Khalistan leader after the US released a bombshell indictment of Indian agents and officials directly accusing and charging them of conspiring to kill Pannun for his activism for the creation of Khalistan.
Pannun said: “An Indian Hindu Nikhil Gupta has been indicted for assassination attempt but in fact this is an indictment against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a known human rights violator who has a track record of using violence to suppress criticism and dissenting political opinion.”
On November 29, the US announced the filing of murder-for-hire charges against Indian national Nikhil Gupta in connection with his participation in a foiled plot to assassinate Pannun.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As alleged, the defendant conspired from India to assassinate, right here in New York City, a U.S. citizen of Indian origin (Pannun) who has publicly advocated for the establishment of a sovereign state for Sikhs, an ethnoreligious minority group in India.
I am grateful that my Office and our law enforcement partners neutralized this deadly and outrageous threat. We will not tolerate efforts to assassinate U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, and stand ready to investigate, thwart, and prosecute anyone who seeks to harm and silence Americans here or abroad.”
Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen said: “The dedicated law enforcement agents and prosecutors in this case foiled and exposed a dangerous plot to assassinate a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil.
The Department of Justice will be relentless in using the full reach of our authorities to pursue accountability for lethal plotting emanating from overseas.”
DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said: “When a foreign government employee allegedly committed the brazen act of recruiting an international narcotics trafficker to murder a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, DEA was there to stop the plot. I want to recognize the outstanding work of the DEA New York Field Division for their leadership in this investigation, the prosecution team at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan for pursuing today’s indictment, and our federal and global law enforcement partners for their assistance.”
FBI Assistant Director in Charge James Smith said: “Murder for hire is a crime out of a movie, but the plot in this case was all too real. The excellent teamwork of the law enforcement partners in this case exposed this brazen conspiracy and is why Nikhil Gupta finds himself in jail waiting to answer to these charges.”
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun’s murder foiled case is being handled by the Office’s National Security and International Narcotics Unit, Violent and Organized Crime Unit, and Narcotics Unit.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Camille L. Fletcher, Ashley C. Nicolas, and Alexander Li are in charge of the prosecution with assistance from Trial Attorneys Christopher Cook and Robert McCullers of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, as well as Trial Attorney A.J. Dixon of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.