A TIME magazine female staff writer has deleted her X, previously Twitter, account after being attacked online by Indian government assets for interviewing Sikh leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun for a publication on the failed Indian assassination attempt on American territory.
The Financial Times conducted an investigation that revealed the US government had recently foiled an attempt by the Indian government to kill Pannun in New York, where he resides primarily, for his Khalistan campaign. Rajvanshi, the staff writer for TIME in London, conducted a lengthy question-and-answer session with the leader of the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and spokesman for the Khalistan Referendum.
As soon as the article was published, Rajvanshi was attacked, including a threat from an Indian government-linked defense analyst that she would face the death penalty and life imprisonment under Indian law.
Extremist BJP-linked Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, who describes himself as a Senior Research Fellow at the Nuclear Security Programme (NSP), said the journalist will be charged.
Several BJP internet trolls joined the onslaught, threatening the journalist's life and reputation. The assaults were so heinous that she went offline, and her X account no longer exists.
According to a Time magazine source, the journalist, who has received the Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award and a fellowship from the Institute of Current World Affairs, went down after receiving significant threats online from India that were clearly related to the radical BJP party.
According to the Financial Times, US police foiled a plot to kill Pannun, an American and Canadian citizen, and sent a warning to India's government on suspicions that it was engaged in the scheme. According to the Financial Times, US President Joe Biden discussed the issue with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the G20 conference in Delhi in September.
White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement that US officials are "treating this issue with the utmost seriousness" after addressing it with the Indian government, including "at the senior-most levels."
Pannun, who was born in Amritsar and became an activist following the mass killings of Sikhs during Operation Blue Star, told Time that his work is driven by a single goal: "I wanted to pursue the right of the Sikh community to self-determination."