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Nikhil Gupta, accused of allegedly plotting to kill Khalistani terrorist Pannun, extradited to US from Czech Republic

Nikhil Gupta, accused of allegedly plotting to kill Khalistani terrorist Pannun, extradited to US from Czech Republic

In a statement, the US Department of Justice said Gupta, 52, was an collaborator with the Indian government and that he and others helped plan Pannun’s murder in New York, according to NBC News.

Washington: Nikhil Gupta, an Indian national accused of involvement in an alleged failed plot to murder India-designated supporter of Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in New York, has been extradited from the Czech Republic to the United States for trial. A U.S. District Court spokesman said Nikhil Gupta is scheduled to appear in court in lower Manhattan on Monday on a federal murder-for-hire charge, the U.S. broadcaster reported.

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In a statement, the US Department of Justice said Gupta, 52, was an collaborator with the Indian government and that he and others helped plan Pannun’s murder in New York, according to NBC News.

Last November, U.S. Department of Justice officials announced charges against Gupta following his June 2023 arrest in the Czech Republic. They said Gupta faces extradition to New York.

Pannun is an Indian-designated terrorist with American and Canadian nationality. In early November, the United States Department of Justice declassified an indictment against an Indian citizen for his alleged participation in a foiled plot to murder the US-based leader of the Sikh Separatist Movement and a New York citizen.

The Justice Department said an Indian government employee (named CC-1), who was not identified in the indictment filed in federal court in Manhattan, recruited an Indian citizen named Nikhil Gupta to hire a hitman to carry out the killing, which prosecutors say was foiled by the American authorities.

In its indictment, the Justice Department said that early last year, an Indian government employee working with others, including Gupta, led a plot to kill a political activist who was a US citizen of Indian origin living in New York. It was alleged that Gupta was an associate of CC-1 and in his interactions with CC-1 he described his involvement in international drug and arms trafficking.

The indictment alleges that the attack plot was masterminded by CC-1 from India. Under CC-1’s direction, Gupta allegedly contacted an individual he believed to be a criminal associate, but who was in fact a secret source working with The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

It was alleged that this source introduced Gupta to the alleged assassin, who was an undercover DEA officer. The Justice Department says the alleged killer was offered $100,000 to murder the separatist leader. The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty, the Department of Justice said in a statement.

(with inputs from ANI)



Date published: June 17, 2024 09:55 EST



Date updated: June 17, 2024 09:55 EST