According to a statement released by the US Department of Justice, an attempted murder of a Sikh separatist residing in the US by an Indian plot was thwarted. The US inputs were being examined, the foreign ministry said earlier today. It was purportedly intended to harm Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who holds dual Canadian and American citizenship. A government employee from India was charged by the US Attorney’s Office today with involvement in a murderous plot.
Nikhil Gupta, an Indian national, is facing accusations of “murder-for-hire” and “murder-for-hire conspiracy” from the US Attorney’s Office. He could receive a sentence as long as 20 years if found guilty.
The National Investigation Agency filed a case against Pannun on November 20th, claiming that he had posted messages on social media indicating that passengers on Air India flights were in danger. Additionally, he had stated that on November 19, Air India would not be permitted to operate. The US is “treating a reported plot to kill a Sikh separatist on American soil with utmost seriousness,” according to a statement made by the White House last week, and the matter has been brought up with the Indian government “at the senior-most levels.”
The Justice Department’s statement was released two months after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s accusations of the “possible” involvement of Indian agents in the murder of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar, which sparked a diplomatic spat. June saw the death of Nijjar, one of India’s most wanted terrorists and the leader of the outlawed Khalistan Tiger Force.