Crime

Nikhil Gupta Arrested for Alleged Plot to Assassinate Khalistani Leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in the US”

In a shocking turn of events, Nikhil Gupta, a 52-year-old Indian man, has become the focal point of an international assassination plot targeting a vocal critic of the Indian government and advocate for Sikh separatist movements in Punjab. Gupta was apprehended in the Czech Republic in June and is now facing charges related to a sinister plan to murder Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, identified as the leader of Sikhs for Justice, a pro-Khalistan group campaigning for an independent Sikh state.

Federal prosecutor Damian Williams highlighted the gravity of the situation, stating, “The defendant conspired from India to assassinate, right here in New York City, a US citizen of Indian origin who has publicly advocated for the establishment of a sovereign state for Sikhs.” The intricate details of the plot have unraveled further with the revelation of an unnamed Indian government employee, described as a senior field officer in security and intelligence, who allegedly recruited Gupta for the assassination.

According to US authorities, this unidentified government employee engaged in negotiations with an undercover agent, brokered by Gupta, agreeing to pay a staggering $100,000 for the execution. Gupta, under the impression that he had secured a hitman for the task, was unaware that the so-called ‘hitman’ was, in fact, an undercover US agent. These developments not only raised eyebrows but also escalated diplomatic tensions between the involved nations.

The case draws parallels with a previous incident in Canada, where Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar was killed, sparking a diplomatic row between Ottawa and New Delhi. The United States has expressed serious concern over the allegations, engaging in conversations with Indian authorities to address the potential fallout from these revelations.

In a bizarre twist, Gupta allegedly informed undercover US agents after Nijjar’s killing that there was “no need to wait” to carry out the assassination of the US target, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. The US Justice Department reveals Gupta’s admission that Nijjar was also a target and that they were just two of “many targets.” Furthermore, Gupta provided advice to the supposed hitman, urging them to avoid executing the assassination during a period when high-level meetings between US and Indian government officials were anticipated.

Gupta, with a history of criminal activities, including involvement in drug and weapon trafficking, now faces charges of two counts of murder-for-hire and murder-for-hire conspiracy. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. As this international plot continues to unfold, the implications for diplomatic relations and the pursuit of justice in this complex case are likely to resonate for some time.

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