U.S. Trial Initiated for Indian National Accused in Sikh Activist Murder Plot

U.S. Trial Initiated for Indian National Accused in Sikh Activist Murder Plot

Extradited to the United States to face trial is an Indian person who is charged with participating in a plot to kill a U.S. citizen in New York City.

Nikhil Gupta is expected to appear in court on federal murder-for-hire allegations on Monday in the lower Manhattan courthouse, according to a U.S. District Court spokeswoman.

According to the Justice Department, Gupta, 52, is a friend of a “senior field officer” in the Indian government, and the two of them collaborated on the plan to kill a Sikh separatist and opponent of the Indian government in New York City.

According to The Associated Press, the critic has been identified as Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, whom Indian authorities have designated as a terrorist.

As per officials, Pannun, who is thought to be the intended target of the purported conspiracy, supports an autonomous Punjab province for the Sikh community in India.

After being detained in the Czech Republic in June, Gupta was charged in November, according to Justice Department authorities. They claimed he would be subject to a New York extradition process.

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A source for the Drug Enforcement Administration was the person with whom Gupta spoke, according to the prosecution, despite his claims to be a drug and weapon trafficker who mistook the call for one from a hitman.

An indictment claims that the source linked Gupta to a supposed hitman who was, in fact, an undercover DEA agent.

Authorities from the DEA and FBI claim that in June 2023, Gupta supplied surveillance images of the purported target and offered to pay $100,000 for the murder.

At about the same moment, on June 18, outside a Sikh temple in British Columbia, assailants shot and killed Hardeep Singh Nijjar, another Sikh separatist leader.

According to investigators, Gupta boasted to the undercover agent that Nijjar “was also the target” and that “we have so many targets” following the killing. He also expressed his desire for the New York operation to start as soon as possible.

Claims that the Indian government was complicit in plotting killings in the US or Canada have been deemed “absurd” by the country’s foreign ministry.

Gupta faced accusations of murder-for-hire and conspiracy to conduct murder-for-hire, each of which have a maximum 10-year prison sentence if proven true.


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