OAN’s Abril Elfi
5:33 PM – Wednesday, November 29, 2023
United States federal prosecutors have charged an Indian man for an attempted murder-for-hire plot on a Sikh political activist.
On Wednesday, an indictment was released that stated federal prosecutors had charged 52-year-old Nikhil Gupata, as he is believed to have hired a hitman in order to target Gurpatwant Singh Pannun who runs “Sikhs for Justice.”
Authorities claim that Gupata was collaborating with an unnamed Indian official to arrange a meeting with a hitman—whom he was unaware was actually an undercover police officer—in order to assassinate Pannun, a citizen of the United States.
The anonymous Indian official allegedly agreed to pay $100,000 to the undercover cop so that he could finish the job by taking out the activist.
The government official identified himself as a “senior field officer” with intelligence responsibilities who “directed the assassination plot from India.”
Gupta is also accused of conspiring to commit murder for hire in addition to murder for hire. According to authorities, he was detained in June in the Czech Republic in accordance with a bilateral extradition treaty.
Gupta was allegedly enlisted by the Indian government official to “orchestrate” the murder.
Prosecutors claim that Gupta made contact with a contact in June whom he thought was a hitman but who was actually assisting law enforcement in order to kill Pannun, at the official’s request.
They also claim that the Indian official provided Gupta Pannun with his home address, phone number, and a daily activity log.
According to the indictment, the official sent Gupta a video of Nijjar’s “bloody body slumped in his vehicle” a few hours after the murder.
Court documents then stated that Gupta gave the alleged hitman instructions “not to commit the murder around the time of anticipated engagements scheduled to occur in the ensuing weeks between high-level U.S. and Indian government officials,” but he was still asked to carry out the murder “as soon as possible.”
Pannun later released a statement, explaining that the attempt on his life represents a “threat to freedom of speech and democracy.”
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