Indian National Charged in Alleged Plot to Assassinate Khalistani Militant on US Soil

Indian National Charged in Alleged Plot to Assassinate Khalistani Militant on US Soil

The United States has pressed charges against Indian citizen Nikhil Gupta for allegedly plotting to assassinate Khalistani militant Pannu. Gupta, 52, is accused of attempting to hire an undercover federal agent, posing as a hitman, for $100,000 in cash. Currently held in the Czech Republic awaiting extradition, the charges carry a potential 20-year prison sentence. The indictment suggests Gupta was directed by an unnamed Indian government official.

The alleged plot involved an American citizen in New York advocating for a Sikh separatist state, with Gupta’s arrest made in the Czech Republic. The White House has discussed the matter with India at the highest levels, leading to surprise and concern from Indian officials. President Joe Biden dispatched top intelligence leaders to address the situation.

India is investigating the allegations, while news of this plot follows Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s claim of “credible” evidence linking the Indian government to the murder of a Sikh activist in British Columbia. The indictment emphasizes the seriousness of such allegations and underscores the need for India to address them.

The indictment details Gupta’s recruitment by an Indian government employee in May, with meetings in Delhi to discuss the planned assassination. Gupta allegedly proposed posing as a client to lure the target into a more vulnerable position. The text messages presented in the indictment indicate his intention to meet a hitman in New York. Instead, he encountered an undercover officer, to whom he paid $15,000 upfront in June. Awaiting extradition, Gupta faces severe legal consequences if convicted in the United States.

India Response

India’s foreign ministry spokesperson expressed concern on Thursday over the alleged involvement of an Indian government official in a plot to murder a U.S. national. The spokesperson emphasized that such actions do not align with the government’s policies.

• High-level inquiry committee has been constituted and we will be guided by its results,

• Nexus between organised crime, trafficking, gunrunning and extremists is a serious issue says Arindam Bagchi Official Spokesperson, MEA.

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