An Australian citizen has been arrested after police discovered his alleged plot to murder his father-in-law, who was shot in the head in Punjab, India.

According to authorities, the plan involved hiring three men to execute the killing.

The incident occurred in Kahlon village, where Indian authorities had been investigating the brutal attack on a 65-year-old man.

On February 2, 2023, the victim endured a vicious assault in which he was initially attacked with a machete and then shot in the back of the head.

The victim survived the shooting after the firearm misfired but was treated for a fractured occipital bone and a serious brain injury.

After this harrowing event, the victim relocated to Western Australia to recover with his family.

During the ongoing investigation, Punjab Police arrested and charged three individuals with offences related to the failed assassination attempt.

In a social media announcement, authorities described the arrest of a gang of “contract killers“, stating that these individuals had “carried out a murderous assault on a senior citizen on the direction of a foreign-based conspirator”.

Police recovered a pistol, four live cartridges and a knife from the suspects.

As the elderly man settled in Australia, the investigation revealed the involvement of a fourth suspect, Shiv Sheetal, a resident of Maddington, approximately 20 kilometres southwest of Perth’s central business district.

Authorities allege that Sheetal was “actively seeking a person to commit the murder of his father-in-law”, in what was described as a transnational conspiracy.

Shiv Sheetal was arrested on June 26, 2024, and charged with one count of attempted unlawful killing.

Despite the seriousness of the charges, Indian authorities informed Australian police that they would not pursue extradition.

During his first appearance at Perth Magistrates Court on June 27, Sheetal remained silent, only nodding to confirm his identity.

His lawyer did not request bail and sought an adjournment until next month to prepare a legal defence.

Earlier in June, Sheetal had been arrested for allegedly breaching a family violence restraining order filed by his estranged wife.

Police are expected to allege that during this period, the father-in-law began receiving further death threats.

Shiv Sheetal’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 24 at Stirling Gardens Court.