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Indian national Nikhil Gupta arraigned in NY for plot to kill US activist

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Federal authorities have announced the extradition of Nikhil Gupta from the Czech Republic to the United States on grave murder-for-hire charges.

Gupta, an Indian national, was brought to the Southern District of New York on June 14, 2024, and faced arraignment today.

The case unfolds like a high-stakes thriller. Court documents reveal that last year, an Indian government employee, referred to as “CC-1,” masterminded a plot to assassinate a U.S. citizen of Indian origin on American soil. This victim, an attorney and political activist, is a prominent critic of the Indian government and an advocate for the secession of Punjab, a region in northern India with a significant Sikh population.

The victim’s activism centers around the creation of a sovereign Sikh state, Khalistan, a movement fiercely opposed by the Indian government.

CC-1, described as a “Senior Field Officer” in “Security Management” and “Intelligence,” with a background in India’s Central Reserve Police Force, orchestrated the assassination scheme from India. In May 2023, CC-1 enlisted Gupta to execute the deadly mission. Communications intercepted by authorities unveiled Gupta’s involvement in international narcotics and weapons trafficking, painting a picture of a seasoned criminal operative.

Gupta, 52, now faces serious charges in the United States: murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, both carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. His arrest and extradition mark a significant victory in thwarting an international assassination plot, highlighting the ongoing global efforts to combat cross-border crimes.

As Gupta stands trial, the case underscores the perils faced by political activists and the lengths to which adversaries will go to silence dissent. The world watches closely as justice unfolds in this high-profile case of international intrigue and attempted murder.

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