An Indian national has been charged by the United States for allegedly plotting to assassinate Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, as Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing the US attorney's office in Manhattan. This development follows recent reports that US agencies successfully thwarted an attempt to assassinate Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, an advocate for an independent state, Khalistan.
Nikhil Gupta collaborated with Indian govt official: Federal prosecutors
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have asserted that Nikhil Gupta, aged 52, collaborated with an Indian government official responsible for security and intelligence. Together, they allegedly conspired to assassinate a New York City resident who advocates for the establishment of a sovereign Sikh state in northern India.
The prosecutors refrained from disclosing the identity of the Indian official or the intended target. In June, Czech authorities arrested Gupta, and he is presently awaiting extradition. Attempts to reach Gupta for comment have been unsuccessful.
Defendant conspired from India to assassinate US citizen: Prosecutor
Damian Williams, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, said in a statement, "The defendant conspired from India to assassinate, right here in New York City, a U.S. citizen of Indian origin who has publicly advocated for the establishment of a sovereign state for Sikhs."
A request for comment directed to India's embassy in Washington remained unanswered.
These charges follow statements from a senior Biden administration official last week, revealing that U.S. authorities successfully prevented a plot to assassinate a Sikh separatist on American soil. The official also issued a caution to India, expressing concerns over potential involvement by the government in New Delhi.
The official specified Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, asserting his dual citizenship in the United States and Canada, as the intended target of the thwarted plot.