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US accuses Indian man of plotting murder of Sikh separatist in New York

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday charged an Indian national in connection with a foiled plot to assassinate a Sikh separatist on US soil.

Nikhil Gupta, 52, has been charged with murder-for-hire, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison , US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Matthew G. Olsen said.

US officials said Gupta agreed to pay US$100,000 to an assassin to kill a Sikh separatist leader living in New York City.

According to the charges, “On or about June 9, 2023, CC-1 and GUPTA arranged for an associate to deliver US$15,000 in cash to UC in Manhattan, New York as advance payment for the murder.”

The US citizen is not named in the indictment, but The Financial Times, citing unnamed sources, reported last week that US authorities had foiled a plot to assassinate Gurpatwant Singh Pannun of the banned Sikhs for Justice, and A warning was issued to the Government of India on the concerns involved. Plot.

“As charged, the defendants conspired from India right here in New York City to murder an Indian-American citizen who publicly advocated the establishment of a sovereign state for the Sikhs, an ethnic minority group in India “, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damien Williams said in a statement.

Williams said his office and law enforcement partners neutralized this “deadly and outrageous threat.” We will not tolerate attempts to assassinate American citizens on American soil and stand ready to investigate, thwart, and prosecute anyone who seeks to harm and silence Americans here or abroad. The superseding indictment unsealed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and other public court documents detail the alleged conspiracy in which the Guptas were involved.

In approximately May 2023, Gupta was recruited by an individual to plot the murder of a victim in the United States.

Prosecutors said Czech authorities arrested and detained Gupta on June 30, 2023, under the bilateral extradition treaty between the United States and the Czech Republic.

Gupta was arrested in the Czech Republic at the request of the United States in connection with a conspiracy to murder a man. It was not immediately clear when Gupta might be extradited to the US.

The development came on a day when India said it has formed a high-level inquiry committee to probe allegations related to a plot to kill a Sikh extremist on US soil.

On Wednesday, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the US side has shared some “inputs” related to the nexus between organized criminals, gun-runners and terrorists and India takes such inputs seriously as they “are a threat to our national security.” Also impact “interests”. The concerned departments were investigating the issue.

India constituted a high-level investigation committee on November 18 to look into all relevant aspects of the case, he said.

(This story is published as part of an auto-generated syndicated wire feed. Apart from the headline, there have been no edits to the copy by ABP Live.)

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