viewComments Sikh Assembly member Jasmeet Bains pushes to pass bill against transnational repression in California

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Sikh Assembly member Jasmeet Bains pushes to pass bill against transnational repression in California

She presented the bill in February, gaining unanimous and bipartisan approval at the Assembly Public Safety Committee in April.

Jasmeet Bains referring to The Washington Post article. / Screengrab X/@sikh_coalition

Dr Jasmeet Bains, the first Sikh American elected to the California State office, addressed on May.23 the vote on her measure to address transnational repression at the state level (AB 3027). Bains first introduced the bill in February, after which it gained unanimous and bipartisan approval at the Assembly Public Safety Committee in April.

While pushing to pass the bill on May.23, Bains referred to an article by The Washington Post titled 'An assassination plot on American soil reveals a darker side of Modi’s India’. The article, citing unnamed sources, mentioned the involvement of a Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) officer in connection with the alleged assassination plot of India-designated terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil in 2023. The foiled assassination in the US, the article says, coincided with the 2023 shooting of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada.

“AB 3027 addresses one of the greatest emerging threats to American freedom and democracy: transnational repression. A few weeks ago, this hit headlines on the front page of The Washington Post stating the fact that the Indian government paid and attempted to assassinate US citizens right here [on US soil],” Bains said as in a social media post by the Sikh Coalition.

“My question is why? Why am I reading this in The Washington Post and not in the FBI or Homeland Security report. US ally or not, India and other foreign governments violating our national sovereignty must be held accountable and called out,” she added. 



The killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, which Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly linked to Indian intelligence, ignited a diplomatic firestorm between Canada and India.

India dismissed the allegations as "absurd" and responded furiously, briefly curbing visas for Canadians and forcing Ottawa to withdraw diplomats.

Bains’ bill marks a significant milestone as California takes its first historic stride towards acknowledging the threats posed by transnational repression. The bill establishes a legal definition of transnational repression, mandates local law enforcement to devise training programs aimed at identifying and addressing such repression, and affirms California's commitment to safeguarding communities from transnational repression.

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