Indian-American Leaders Confront US Officials on Terrorist Threats Against India

Featured & Cover Indian American Leaders Confront US Officials on Terrorist Threats Against India

A contingent of prominent Indian-Americans residing in Silicon Valley convened a special gathering with high-ranking officials from the Department of Justice, FBI, and local law enforcement, shedding light on the exploitation of US territory for terrorist endeavors against India.

The assembly, spearheaded by community leader Ajai Jain Bhutoria, aimed to address the escalating frequency of hate crimes targeting Hindu and Jain establishments in California. Approximately two dozen distinguished Indian-Americans participated in the session, which was attended by Vincent Plair and Harpreet Singh Mokha from the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service, alongside representatives from the FBI and police departments of San Francisco, Milpitas, Freemont, and Newark.

Expressing their discontent, attendees lamented the apparent inertia of US law enforcement in curtailing individuals promoting terrorism activities in India. They bemoaned the lack of action against those responsible for orchestrating hate crimes and issuing threats, including the attempted arson at the Indian consulate in San Francisco and overt intimidations directed at Indian diplomats.

According to members present, senior law enforcement officials professed ignorance regarding the Khalistan movement within the US and solicited assistance from Indian Americans in raising awareness about these terrorist factions. They cited resource constraints and competing priorities as impediments to taking decisive action.

Ajai Jain Bhutoria emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, “This meeting was a crucial moment as we united to confront the recent surge in hate crimes targeting Hindu places of worship.” He underscored the urgent need for collective action in safeguarding religious sites amidst a wave of attacks and desecrations.

Sikh leader Sukhi Chahal elucidated on the discussions, highlighting the menace posed by supporters of the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) Khalistani movement targeting Hindu temples and disseminating inflammatory propaganda. He urged law enforcement agencies to address the alarming rhetoric of pro-Khalistan figures like Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, stressing its potential to sow discord and radicalize youth.

In response to the deliberations, it was agreed to establish a working group under the auspices of the US Department of Justice, tasked with implementing safety protocols at places of worship and instituting a streamlined reporting mechanism for untoward incidents. The group would comprise representatives from various segments of the Indian community.

Despite these developments, community leaders voiced apprehensions regarding the efficacy of law enforcement in assuaging prevailing anxieties and thwarting terrorist activities emanating from US soil. Concerns were raised over the perceived lack of understanding among authorities regarding the nuances of the Khalistan movement and the alleged tacit support extended to its proponents by certain factions within the FBI.

Participants emphasized the urgency of addressing the brazen threats issued by Khalistani leaders, including purported plots to target Air India flights and the unabated dissemination of anti-Hindu sentiments. They underscored the imperative of countering such rhetoric to preserve social harmony and safeguard bilateral relations between India and the US.

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