News Brief

Pannun 'Killing Plot': Indian National Nikhil Gupta Extradited From Czech Republic To US

Kuldeep Negi

Jun 17, 2024, 06:38 PM | Updated 06:38 PM IST

Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannu.
Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannu.

Nikhil Gupta, an Indian national accused of involvement in a murder-for-hire plot targeting a Khalistani terrorist, has been extradited from the Czech Republic, according to media reports on 16 June.

Gupta, 52, was arrested in the Czech Republic last year at the request of the US government. He faces charges related to a plot to assassinate Khalistani separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

Gupta is scheduled to appear before a federal court in New York on Monday (17 June). Currently, he is being held at the federal Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn.

US daily The Washington Post was the first to report on Gupta's extradition. The newspaper cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter, noting that extradited defendants are typically required to appear in court within a day of their arrival in the country.

US federal prosecutors alleged that Gupta hired a hitman and paid $415,000 in advance to kill Pannun.

They further claim that an unnamed Indian government official was involved in the plot.

Gupta’s extradition comes ahead of the visit of US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to New Delhi for the annual ICET dialogue. The issue is expected to be discussed during Sullivan's meeting with his Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval.

India has denied any involvement in the case and has launched an investigation into the allegations.

Meanwhile, Gupta, through his attorney, has also denied the charges.

Gupta’s attorney, Rohini Musa, wrote in a petition to the Indian Supreme Court that her client is being unfairly prosecuted, saying there is "nothing on record to link the Petitioner to the massive alleged plot to assassinate the alleged victim," reported The Washington Post.

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Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.

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