Indian Man Charged in US-Based Sikh Activist Murder-for-Hire Plot
5 mins read

Indian Man Charged in US-Based Sikh Activist Murder-for-Hire Plot

In a startling revelation, US federal prosecutors have unveiled charges against an Indian national for his alleged involvement in a murder-for-hire conspiracy targeting a Sikh political activist on American soil. The indictment, unsealed on Wednesday, has sent shockwaves through the community as it sheds light on a sinister plot that has far-reaching implications.

The Plot Unfolds

The accused, Nikhil Gupta, aged 52, is alleged to have collaborated with an unnamed Indian official to arrange a meeting with an undercover officer, whom Gupta believed to be a contract killer hired to eliminate the intended victim. Although the indictment refrains from naming the victim, it does describe them as a US citizen, an attorney, and a vocal critic of the Indian government. Furthermore, it reveals that the Indian official agreed to pay a staggering $100,000 to the undercover officer for executing the planned murder.

According to sources familiar with the case, the victim is Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the founder of “Sikhs for Justice,” a New York-based organization that advocates for a separate Sikh homeland known as Khalistan, which would encompass parts of India. It’s worth noting that this organization is deemed unlawful in India, where its website is inaccessible.

Gupta now faces charges of murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire. He was apprehended in June of this year in the Czech Republic, where he was held pursuant to a bilateral extradition treaty between the two countries.

Allegations of a Larger Conspiracy

Authorities allege that Gupta not only conspired with an Indian government official but also played a key role in orchestrating the assassination plot, which the official directed from India. This revelation has sent shockwaves through the Sikh activist community.

Pannun, who has previously been labeled a terrorist by the Indian government and accused of inciting separatism, issued a statement in response to the attempt on his life, decrying it as a “threat to freedom of speech and democracy.” He went on to state, “The attempt on my life on American Soil is the blatant case of India’s transnational terrorism, which has become a challenge to America’s sovereignty and a threat to freedom of speech and democracy.” Pannun also raised concerns about how this incident, along with the recent assassination of another Sikh separatist on Canadian soil, could complicate relations between the US and India.

In light of these developments, there has been a growing call for a response from the Indian government, especially considering the alleged involvement of an Indian official in the plot. This echoes the murder of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada back in June, where the Canadian government asserted it had credible information linking India to the assassination. However, the Indian government vehemently denied these allegations.

US prosecutors point out that Nijjar and Pannun were associates, both being leaders of the Sikh separatist movement. Shockingly, just one day after Nijjar’s murder, Gupta allegedly communicated with an individual he believed to be a contract killer and mentioned that Nijjar “was also the target,” adding, “we have so many targets.”

The Grim Details

The indictment provides chilling details of the conspiracy. It suggests that an Indian government official recruited Gupta to “orchestrate” the assassination. At the official’s behest, Gupta contacted an individual in June whom he believed to be a hitman. Unbeknownst to Gupta, this supposed hitman was actually working in cooperation with law enforcement, intending to thwart the plot.

Furthermore, the Indian official allegedly provided Gupta with crucial information, including Pannun’s home address, phone numbers, and details about his daily routines. In a shocking revelation, the indictment claims that the official sent Gupta a video of Nijjar’s “bloody body slumped in his vehicle” mere hours after the murder took place. Gupta reportedly urged the supposed hitman to expedite the murder but cautioned against carrying it out during the anticipated high-level engagements between US and Indian government officials in the ensuing weeks, according to court documents.

The unveiling of this murder-for-hire plot has sent shockwaves through the Sikh activist community, raising concerns about transnational terrorism and the safety of individuals who advocate for the cause of Khalistan. It has also brought to light the complex relationship between the US and India, particularly in matters of security and international relations.

As the legal proceedings unfold, it remains to be seen how the Indian government will respond to these serious allegations. The world watches with bated breath, hoping for justice and a resolution to this disturbing chapter in the ongoing struggle for Sikh rights and autonomy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.