On Wednesday, charges were filed by the US Justice Department against an individual of Indian nationality, identified as 52-year-old Nikhil Gupta, also known as Nick. These charges pertain to his alleged participation in a foiled plot to assassinate a US citizen of Indian origin residing in New York. The targeted individual remains unnamed in the Justice Department document, though the charges follow a report by the Financial Times suggesting an assassination attempt on Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
Key Details about Nikhil Gupta:
As per a press release from the US Justice Department, Nikhil Gupta, a 52-year-old Indian national, was apprehended by Czech authorities on June 30, under the bilateral extradition treaty between the United States and the Czech Republic.
The Justice Department document implicates an Indian government employee, referred to as CC-1, who collaborated with others, including Nikhil Gupta, in a plot to assassinate a US citizen of Indian origin and political activist residing in New York City.
Nikhil Gupta is characterized as an associate of CC-1 and is noted for revealing his involvement in international narcotics and weapons trafficking during communications with CC-1 and others.
The document discloses that Nikhil Gupta was recruited by CC-1 in May 2023 to coordinate the planned assassination.
In his efforts to execute the plot, Nikhil Gupta contacted an individual whom he believed to be a criminal associate for assistance in hiring a hitman in New York. However, both the individual and the purported hitman were cooperating with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), according to the Justice Department.
In June, Nikhil Gupta received personal information about the intended target, which he subsequently conveyed to the supposed hitman.
The document alludes to the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada, stating that Nikhil Gupta informed the undercover officer (purported hitman) that Nijjar was also a target.
Nikhil Gupta traveled from India to the Czech Republic around June 30, where he was arrested by Czech authorities at the request of the United States.