The media report, initially circulated by the American outlet The Intercept, claimed that the Indian government had issued a secret memo in April to counter Sikh dissidents in Western countries. The memo allegedly listed Hardeep Singh Nijjar, among others, as targets for action.
Foreign Ministry’s Dismissal
In response to the report, the Indian Foreign Ministry labeled it as ‘fake’ and ‘completely fabricated.’ Officials accused the outlet of being part of a ‘consistent disinformation campaign’ against India, linking its origin to the Pakistani intelligence agency. Arindam Bagchi, the ministry’s spokesperson, stated that the report was a continuation of Pakistan’s efforts to spread ‘fake narratives.’
Arindam Bagchi’s Statement
Arindam Bagchi, addressing the media, strongly denied the authenticity of the report. He emphasized that such reports are part of a sustained campaign to tarnish India’s image. Bagchi asserted, ‘We categorically state that these reports are fake and completely baseless. There is no such directive.’ He went on to criticize outlets promoting such ‘fake stories,’ noting their reliance on narratives fabricated by the Pakistani intelligence department.
September Allegations by Canada
The recent controversy adds to the diplomatic strain between India and Canada. In September, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused Indian agents of being ‘potentially involved’ in the assassination of Sikh extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil. India promptly dismissed the allegations, deeming them ‘baseless’ and ‘unsubstantiated.’
The Intercept’s Claims
The Intercept’s report alleges that the Indian government had issued a memo directing action against dissident Sikhs in Western countries. The document reportedly outlined a ‘crackdown scheme’ against Sikh organizations, citing Hardeep Singh Nijjar as a key figure. The report also claims that the Indian government had identified dissatisfied Sikhs for investigation.
The Foreign Ministry’s Secret Memo
The April secret memo, according to the report, listed Hardeep Singh Nijjar and other dissatisfied Sikhs as targets for potential action. The Indian Foreign Ministry clarified that the memo was a routine communication outlining various issues, and it did not indicate any plans for action against the individuals listed.
The Indian government’s strong dismissal of the media report highlights the complexities surrounding diplomatic relations and allegations against Indian agencies. As the narrative unfolds, it is crucial to discern between fact and fiction, avoiding the pitfalls of sensationalism.