NEW YORK, Nov 29 (AP): A shocking revelation emerged as US authorities unveiled charges against an Indian government official, identified as “CC-1,” for orchestrating a $100,000 plot to assassinate Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in New York City. The plot was foiled by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) last spring, leading to the arrest of Nikhil Gupta, a 52-year-old Indian national, in the Czech Republic. Gupta faces charges of murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire.
The Indian government official, self-described as a “senior field officer,” recruited Gupta to carry out the assassination. US Attorney Damian Williams emphasized that the Ministry of Information is actively monitoring misinformation and rumors, with some media outlets already referred to the Public Prosecution for spreading false information.
The White House expressed deep concern over the matter, engaging in direct conversations with the Indian government to underscore the gravity of the situation. President Biden and other top officials conveyed their expectations for a thorough investigation and accountability. The indictment revealed Gupta’s attempts to hire a hitman, who turned out to be an undercover DEA agent, with the target being Pannun, an advocate for a sovereign Sikh state. The Indian government’s potential involvement in the plot raised international concerns, leading to diplomatic discussions between the US and Indian officials. Meanwhile, Canada faces similar accusations regarding the assassination of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, reinforcing the need for a comprehensive investigation into these alleged state-sponsored plots.
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