By: MC Birla Meetei
Media in India early and middle this year were busy in shaping India’s image from ‘soft state’ to ‘hard state’ under Modi and Doval following National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval’s ‘defensive offence’ doctrine, in which you go and attack the place where the offence is coming from.
Even though the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused Indian intelligence agencies of being behind the assassination of India-designated Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, India is seen today by the world as a ‘hard State’; a rising superpower which rapidly retaliates against the enemy with stunning force.The 2015 Myanmar cross-border operation against Naga militants, the 2016 post-Uri attack surgical strike across the LoC, and Balakot airstrike of 2019 after the Pulwama terror attack stand witnesses to India’s defensive offence in motion. India’s covert anti-terrorists campaign involving killings of NIA Rs. 10 lakh reward Hardeep Singh Nijjar near a gurdwara in Surrey, Canada in June 2023, Rayaz Ahmed alias Abu in a mosque in PoK in September 2023, Bashir Ahmed Peer of Hizbul Mujahideen in Rawalpindi in February 2023, Al Badr commander Syed Khalid Raza in Karachi in February 2023, Aijaz Ahmad Ahangar, a Kashmiri terrorist functioning as a top commander of ISIS in Afghanistan’s Kunar province in February 2023, Khalistan Commando Force’s Paramjit Singh Panjwar in Lahore in May 2023, Jaish-e-Mohammed’s Mistry Zahoor Ibrahim, one of the IC-814 hijackers who had slit passenger Rupin Katyal’s throat in Karachi in March 2022, Khalistani terrorist and Rinda’s aide Happy Sanghera in Italy in November and many other similar incidents have given India a new tough and rigid face that depicted the rise of the Indian Mossad.
The recent US indictment that charged Nikhil Gupta, the Indian man in a failed plot to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a US citizen in New York City working for the secession of Punjab from India and establishing a Sikh sovereign state called Khalistan has clearly shown India’s tentacles in fighting against terrorists who advocated for breaking up of India. The US alleged Nikhil Gupta was in cahoots with an Indian government employee that it addressed as “CC-1”, who, in India and elsewhere, directed a plot to assassinate on US soil a political activist, who was a US citizen of Indian origin understood to be Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a Khalistani separatist. However, the US foiled the plot by enabling the Czech authorities to arrest Nikhil Gutaon June 30, 2023 pursuant to the bilateral extradition treaty between US and Czech Republic.
As per the US Justice Department, CC-1 is an Indian government agency employee who described himself as a senior field officer with responsibilities in security management and intelligence and had previously served in the Central Reserve Police Force. The US Justice Department classified Gupta as an Indian national residing in India and a close associate of CC-1, who had been involved in international narcotics and weapons trafficking as described in his communications with CC-1 and others.
Gupta was recruited by CC-1 in or about May this year, to organize the assassination of the said Khalistani separatist in the US has been a vocal critic of the Indian government and leads a US-based organization that advocates for the secession of Punjab. At CC-1’s direction, Gupta contacted an individual, who he believed to be a criminal associate but was in fact working with the US law enforcement to assist them in contracting a hitman to murder the said separatist. The law enforcement agent then introduced Gupta to a purported hitman, who again, as per the US government, was an undercover US law enforcement officer. CC-1 then agreed to the dealings brokered by Gupta to pay the latter $100,000 to murder the separatist. As per the arrangement, CC-1’s associate paid the latter $25,000 as an advance payment for the murder, as per the US government statement that charged Gupta with murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire. In June, CC-1 provided Gupta with personal information of the said separatist, including his home address, phone numbers, and day-to-day conduct, which was then passed on to the hired assassin who was ordered to carry out the plot as early as possible, as per the US department, but not around the time engagements scheduled between high-level US and Indian officials in order not to affect the diplomatic relations between India and US.
On the day following Nijjar’s killing, the US Justice Department cited Gupta telling the assassin that Nijjar was also a target and that they had so many targets and there was no need to wait.The US Justice Department document detailed the timeline of the events that began with CC-1 recruiting Nikhil Gupta in early May this year, to the filing of charges related to the thwarted plot on November 29. The Indian government official and Gupta also dropped hints, as per the charges, that Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was killed in a shooting outside a gurdwara in British Columbia in June, was their target as well as other plans to hit other targets in Canada.
Early May 2023, in a series of telephonic and electronic communications between CC-1 and Gupta over encrypted applications, CC-1 asked Gupta to arrange the murder of the victim in exchange for CC-1’s assistance in securing the dismissal of a criminal case against Gupta in India. Gupta agreed to orchestrate the assassination and also met CC-1 in person in New Delhi.CC-1 messaged Gupta over an encrypted messaging application about a target in New York and another target in California using an India country code mobile number with a registered email account that accessed the Internet during the period of the murder plot on numerous occasions from the vicinity of New Delhi.Convincing Gupta not to worry for his criminal case, CC-1 enquired of anyone who would be willing to carry out a murder-for-hire in the US for$100000 to be paid within 24 hours after the work is done.
In June 2023, CC-1 sent Gupta the street address for the victim’s home in New York City and coordinated about the plot to assassinate the victim with an advanced payment of $15000 asking Gupta to instruct the CS to delay the assassination of the victim at such an opportune time where there mightnot arise any geopolitical fallout until after the scheduled engagements between high-level US and Indian government officials.
Meanwhile, some masked gunmen shoot and kill Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an associate of the victim and another leader of the Khalistan movement, Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, accused of being a pro-Khalistan terrorist by the Indian government on 18 June 2023outside a gurudwara in Vancouver, Canada. Later that evening, CC-1 sent Gupta a video clip showing Nijjar’s bloody body slumped in his vehicle. Later, CC-1 directed Gupta to find the opportunity to kill the Victim and to do it before the 29th of June but it was thwarted with the arrest of Gupta in the Czech Republic by the Czech law enforcement authorities at the request of the United States in connection with his participation in the plot to assassinate the Victim. The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in New York on the afternoon of June 20, the start of his State visit and left on June 24 for Egypt without munching any word.
In August 2023, the Washington Post reported the meeting of the US national security advisor Jake Sullivan with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval to find a peaceful solution to the Ukraine war in Jeddah on August 6 and that of CIA chief William Burns with Ravi Sinha head of India’s external intelligence agency, RAW later a week in Delhi. The Canadian media reported Canada’s national security advisor Jody Thomas’stravel to India in August and September in connection with the Nijjar killing.
In September 2023, US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised the matter during their meetings with Modi on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in New Delhi followed by diplomatic war between Canada and India.Later in the month, US secretary of state Antony Blinkenurged Indian external affairs minister S. Jaishankar in Washington to cooperate with Canada’s investigation into Nijjar’s killing. According to the Washington Post, US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines visited India in October 2023 to discuss the thwarted plot and shared information about the plot with the Indian government to aid its probe. In November 22, 2023, the Financial Times reported that the US “thwarted a conspiracy to assassinate a Sikh separatist on American soil and issued a warning to India’s government over concerns it was involved in the plot” and a sealed indictment was filed and mentioned details of US officials’ interactions on the case with their counterparts. The Justice Department announces that it had filed ‘murder-for-hire’ charges against Indian national Nikhil Gupta, who was allegedly recruited by an Indian government official to kill a pro-Khalistani activist.
With the coming of BJP in power at New Delhi, India has changed her foreign policies with many countries including Burma with Ajit Doval’s always win ‘defensive offence’ doctrine.
(The writer is a Senior Reporter at the Imphal Times. He can be reached at: [email protected])
The Rise of Indian Mossad & the US Indictment over India in “Murder-for-Hire”
By: MC Birla Meetei