Who is Nikhil Gupta, Indian charged by US in plot to kill separatist? What we know so far
The US Justice Department has identified Nikhil Gupta as a 52-year-old Indian who was operating from India to kill a US citizen of Indian origin.
The US Justice Department on Wednesday charged an Indian in connection with "his participation in a foiled plot to assassinate a US citizen of Indian origin in New York". The man has been named Nikhil Gupta aka Nick and 'murder-for-hire' charges have been pressed against him. The Justice Department document did not name the citizen but came after the Financial Times' report of an alleged assassination plot to kill Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
Who is Nikhil Gupta? What we know so far
1. The US Justice Department press release said 52-year-old Nikhil Gupta is an Indian national. He was arrested by the Czech authorities on June 30, pursuant to the bilateral extradition treaty between the United States and the Czech Republic.
2. An Indian government employee who has not been named in the document but is referred to as CC-1 has been working together with others, including Nikhil Gupta, in India and elsewhere on a plot to assassinate on US soil an attorney and political activist who is a US citizen of Indian origin residing in New York City.
3. Nikhil Gupta has been described as an associate of CC-1. Gupta mentioned his involvement in international narcotics and weapons trafficking in his communications with CC-1 and others, the document said.
4. Nikhil Gupta was recruited by CC-1 in May 2023 to "orchestrate the assassination", it said.
5. Nikhil Gupta contacted an individual whom Gupta believed to be a criminal associate for assistance in contracting a hitman in New York, the document said. However, the individual and the purported hitman were both working with the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). The document mentioned that a deal was reached thereafter.
6. In June, Nikhil Gupta was provided with personal information about the target which he passed on to the purported hitman.
7. The document mentioned the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada and said Nikhil Gupta told the purported hitman (an undercover officer) that Nijjar was also a target and there were many targets.
8. The document said Nikhil Gupta travelled from India to the Czech Republic on or about June 30 when he was arrested by the authorities at the request of the United States.
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