A senior Indian government official, claiming to be a field officer, allegedly orchestrated the assassination of a Sikh separatist in New York City.
This intensifies scrutiny on India’s spy services, following similar accusations by Canadian authorities in September.
Who is Nikhil Gupta?
The government employee, unnamed in the indictment, reportedly recruited an individual named Nikhil Gupta USA to hire a hitman for the foiled plot.
While the victim remains unnamed in the court filing, sources suggest it was Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, associated with Sikhs for Justice.
USA Arrests Indian Official Nikhil Gupta
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration thwarted the scheme in June, leading to Gupta’s arrest. This alleged link between the Indian government and a U.S. assassination attempt raises concerns, prompting the Biden administration to dispatch top intelligence officials to demand an investigation from India.
The situation risks straining bilateral ties between the two countries, with CIA Director William J. Burns and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines visiting New Delhi for this purpose in August and October, respectively.
Indian Foreign Ministry Responds on Nikhil Gupta USA Claims
The Indian Foreign Ministry acknowledged the seriousness of the information provided by the U.S., stating that a high-level inquiry committee had been established to investigate.
However, it neither confirmed nor denied the existence of an assassination plot or Indian government involvement. Activists and certain U.S. lawmakers express growing concerns over what they perceive as India’s audacious campaign of transnational repression against Sikh separatists in North America.