Gurpatwant Singh Pannun Hardeep Singh Nijjar : US Charges Indian Man for Plot to Assassinate Sikh Separatist Leader in New York

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : The United States Department of Justice has recently made a significant announcement, charging an Indian man with working for the Indian government to carry out the planned assassination of a Sikh separatist leader in New York. The formal allegations linking the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the attempted killing of US citizen Gurpatwant Singh Pannun have raised eyebrows and come as a surprise to many. This is not the first time such accusations have been made against India, as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had previously accused New Delhi of involvement in the assassination of another Sikh separatist leader, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, near Vancouver.

According to the US indictment, Indian national Nikhil Gupta, 52, has been charged with murder-for-hire and conspiracy. Gupta, believed to be a resident of India, is described as an associate of an Indian government agency employee referred to as “CC-1”. The indictment alleges that CC-1 directed the murder plan from India and recruited Gupta to coordinate it. However, unbeknownst to Gupta, the person he hired to carry out the assassination was actually an undercover law enforcement officer.

Gupta had agreed to pay the undercover officer $100,000 for the job and had already paid an advance of $15,000 in cash. However, he was arrested and jailed by Czech authorities on June 30 and is currently awaiting extradition. If convicted, Gupta could face a maximum sentence of 20 years.

The Indian government, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, has denied any involvement in extraterritorial assassinations and stated that it will investigate the allegations. The White House National Security Council has called for accountability from the Indian government based on the results of their investigations.

The target of the assassination plot, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, is a well-known immigration lawyer and a dual citizen of the US and Canada. He has been charged with terrorism and conspiracy in India for his involvement in advocating for a separate Sikh state. Pannun released a statement accusing Modi’s government of trying to kill him due to his organization of a referendum among diaspora Sikhs on Khalistan, an independent state for Punjab.

The Khalistan movement, which seeks to establish a separate Sikh state, has gained support among sections of the Sikh diaspora communities in Canada, the US, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Recent months have seen the deaths of prominent activists associated with the movement in various countries.

While the accusations are expected to create tension in India-US relations, the fact that the US Justice Department has not charged any other Indian government officials so far may come as a relief to New Delhi. The US views India as an important ally in the Indo-Pacific region to counterbalance China’s influence.

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