Nikhil Gupta, an Indian national, has been charged by the United States for his alleged role in a thwarted assassination plot of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a pro-Khalistan leader in New York, remains unidentified in court documents. According to the indictment, Gupta, purportedly acting under the direction of an employee of the Indian government, coordinated the murder-for-hire scheme from India.
US Attorney Damian Williams underscored the severity of the incident, asserting the United States’ stance against assassination attempts on its soil. In response to this development, the White House has engaged with the Indian government at very high levels, expressing surprise and concern.
The situation has added a new dimension to the already complex relations between the US and India, particularly in the context of the Khalistan movement.
Broader Context of the Khalistan Movement
The case gained significant international attention against ongoing tensions related to the Khalistan movement. Sikh leaders have been advocating for Khalistan, a separate Sikh homeland, a contentious issue that has historically strained relations within the region. The involvement of an Indian national in a plot on US soil intertwines international politics with the sensitive issue of Sikh separatism, adding layers of diplomatic and political complexity.