A plot to kill: US Justice Department, Nikhil Gupta, DEA Agent, and Gurpantwar Pannun. 10 points to know | Mint
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Business News/ News / India/  A plot to kill: US Justice Department, Nikhil Gupta, DEA Agent, and Gurpantwar Pannun. 10 points to know
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A plot to kill: US Justice Department, Nikhil Gupta, DEA Agent, and Gurpantwar Pannun. 10 points to know

US authorities have charged an Indian government hired official with murder-for-hire charges for attempt to kill Khalistani separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in New York. Here is all you need to know

An undercover U.S. law enforcement officer is handed $15,000, described by the U.S. Department of Justice as the advance cash payment, by an associate of Nikhil Gupta, who was charged with orchestrating the attempted murder of a Sikh separtist, in a car in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S. June 9, 2023, in a photograph contained in an indictment. (U.S. District Court/SDNY/Handout via REUTERS)Premium
An undercover U.S. law enforcement officer is handed $15,000, described by the U.S. Department of Justice as the advance cash payment, by an associate of Nikhil Gupta, who was charged with orchestrating the attempted murder of a Sikh separtist, in a car in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S. June 9, 2023, in a photograph contained in an indictment. (U.S. District Court/SDNY/Handout via REUTERS)

The United States authorities have charged an Indian government-hired official with murder-for-hire charges for an attempt to kill Khalistani separatist and leader of banned Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) outfit Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil.

The development comes just hours after India announced they have formed a high-level probe committee into security concerns shared by the US during the recently concluded bilateral meet.

Here are the top 10 things you need to know about the situation:

-- The US Justice Department has filed charges against an Indian national for an alleged plot to assassinate a US-based leader of the Sikh Separatist Movement and a citizen in New York.

-- As per the allegations, an Indian government employee (referred to as CC-1) reportedly recruited Nikhil Gupta, the indicted individual, to hire a hitman for the assassination. Gupta is currently in custody and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

-- Gupta was arrested by Czech authorities on June 30, following the extradition treaty between the US and the Czech Republic.

-- The indictment alleges that earlier this year, the Indian government employee, along with Gupta, directed a plot to assassinate Pannun, a US citizen of Indian origin in New York City.

-- Gupta is claimed to be associated with CC-1 and purportedly discussed involvement in international narcotics and weapons trafficking in communications with CC-1.

-- The indictment, filed in a federal court in Manhattan, claims that CC-1 directed the assassination plot from India.

-- The US Justice Department revealed the indictment following information shared regarding a connection between organised criminals, gun runners, and terrorists. India has formed a high-level inquiry committee in response to these security concerns.

-- The Ministry of External Affairs stated that India takes such inputs seriously and relevant departments are examining the issue as it affects national security interests.

-- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has urged the Indian government to collaborate with his country's investigation into the assassination of citizen and Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Colombia's Surrey in June. Trudeau, in an interview with CBC, emphasised the need for India's serious attention to the matter.

-- India had previously dismissed allegations made by Trudeau, terming it "absurd and politically motivated."

Notably, the US Justice Department unsealed its indictment two months after Trudeau's allegations regarding India's involvement in Nijjar's death.

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Published: 30 Nov 2023, 11:19 AM IST
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