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Pannun ‘Plot’: US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair To Hold Hearing on Transnational Repression

“We are witnessing an alarming rise in transnational repression globally, where governments are dispatching assassins and kidnappers or using international criminal networks to abduct, harass, intimidate, and harm dissidents, journalists, and other individuals," Ben Cardin said in a statement.

New Delhi: Hours after US federal prosecutors claimed that an Indian government official led the plot to kill an American Sikh citizen on that country’s soil, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair announced that he will hold a hearing next week to “examine the scope of global transnational repression and how the United States government can more effectively counter this pernicious threat”.

The US Department of Justice announced the unsealing of an indictment which alleged that an Indian government official plotted to assassinate a US citizen in New York City who is a vocal government critic and labelled as a terrorist by the Narendra Modi government. The identity of the target was revealed by the media as Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. The plot was thwarted by US law enforcement agencies.

“We are witnessing an alarming rise in transnational repression globally, where governments are dispatching assassins and kidnappers or using international criminal networks to abduct, harass, intimidate, and harm dissidents, journalists, and other individuals – far beyond their borders,” said US Senator Ben Cardin (Democrat, Maryland) in a statement.

“The disturbing news of a foiled assassination plot against a U.S. citizen involving Indian government officials further underscores the importance of shedding light on efforts by governments to silence dissenters living abroad. Next week, I will be chairing a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that will examine the scope of global transnational repression and how the United States government can more effectively counter this pernicious threat.”

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee plays a major role in shaping the country’s foreign policy. The committee is responsible for overseeing US foreign aid programmes, arms sales and training for allies, and holding confirmation hearings for high-level positions in the Department of State.