US indicted Indian national Nikhil Gupta for conspiracy to assassinate Sikh separatist
The United States Department of Justice has pressed murder-for-hire and conspiracy charges against Indian national Nikhil Gupta for hiring a hitman to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on the alleged directives of Indian government.
US Federal prosecutors describe Gupta as an associate of an Indian government agency employee identified only as “CC-1”. The agent “CC-1” himself introduced to Gupta as a senior field officer of Indian intelligence.
The indictment alleges that CC-1 directed the murder plan from India and recruited Gupta around May 2023 to coordinate it.
CC-1 directed Gupta to contact a criminal associate to execute the murder. Gupta however, mistakenly hired a ‘hit man’ who in reality was working for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).Gupta agreed to pay the hitman $100,000 for the assasination job, and paid $15,000 in advance for assasination.
The indictment said Gupta directed the undercover agent to carry out the killing as soon as possible, without conflicting with anticipated engagements between high-level U.S. and Indian officials.
Mr Gupta, 52, is in jail in the Czech Republic pending extradition. The charges carry up to 20 years in prison.