Indian National Extradited from Czech Republic to U.S. Over Alleged Murder-for-Hire Plot Against Sikh Separatist Leader

Featured & Cover Indian National Extradited from Czech Republic to U S Over Alleged Murder for Hire Plot Against Sikh Separatist Leader

Indian national Nikhil Gupta, implicated in a murder-for-hire plot targeting a Sikh separatist leader, has been extradited from the Czech Republic, according to media reports on June 16.

Gupta, 52, was apprehended in the Czech Republic last year at the request of the U.S. government. He faces charges related to a conspiracy to assassinate Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. Gupta is expected to appear before a federal court in New York on Monday.

Currently, Gupta is being held at the federal Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn, where he is listed as an inmate. The Washington Post was the first to report his extradition.

“Gupta, who had been detained in the Czech Republic, arrived in New York over the weekend, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive legal proceedings. Typically, extradited defendants must appear in court within a day of their arrival in the country,” the daily reported.

Federal prosecutors allege that Gupta hired a hitman to eliminate Pannun and paid $415,000 upfront. They further claim that an unnamed Indian government official was involved in the scheme.

Gupta’s extradition coincides with the upcoming visit of U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to New Delhi for the annual ICET dialogue. It is anticipated that Sullivan will address the matter with his Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval.

In response, India has denied any involvement in the plot and has launched an investigation into the allegations.

Gupta, through his attorney, has denied the charges, claiming he has been “unfairly charged.”

In a petition to the Indian Supreme Court, Gupta’s attorney, Rohini Musa, argued that her client is being unjustly prosecuted. “There is nothing on record to link the Petitioner to the massive alleged plot to assassinate the alleged victim,” Musa stated, as reported by The Washington Post.

Musa also expressed concerns over the legal representation Gupta received in the Czech Republic, suggesting it was compromised. She claimed that Gupta was given adverse legal advice from a Czech government-appointed attorney “under the undue influence of … U.S. Agencies” during the early stages of his detention. Additionally, she accused both India and the United States of using the situation to “blame each other for their foreign policy.”

This extradition comes at a critical time, given the sensitive nature of international relations and the implications of the indictment by the U.S. Department of Justice.

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