U.S. charges Indian national in connection with assassination attempt with ties to Canada

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says it has charged Nikhil Gupta in connection with the foiled assassination attempt of a Khalistani separatist leader in that country who has ties to Canada.

The office says the would-be victim, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, “was an associate” of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was fatally shot outside of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey in June.

The Attorney General says it’s alleged Gupta was directed by an Indian government official to carry out the murder of Pannun in the U.S. but notes that didn’t happen because the contracted killer was actually an undercover U.S. agent. The office adds it has linked Nijjar’s killing to the alleged plot against Pannun in the U.S.

The office says Gupta, 52, has been charged with murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire.

The indictment notes other potential plots across the U.S. and Canada.

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