Czech Republic extradites Indian suspect in failed plot to kill Sikh separatist to US

India has, however, denied the claims stating that the plot goes against official policy and has distanced itself from it.

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun
Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun has advocated for the creation of a sovereign Sikh state and is considered a 'terrorist' by the Indian government [Ted ShaffreyAP Photo]

An Indian man suspected of taking part in a botched attempt to kill a Sikh separatist has been extradited to the United States by the Czech Republic.

Al Jazeera reported that Czech Justice Minister Pavel Blazek announced on Monday, June 17, that Gupta had been sent to the United States last week.

Blazek noted on X, “Pursuant to my decision of 6/3/2024, on Friday 6/14/2024, Nikhil Gupta, an Indian citizen, was extradited to the US for criminal prosecution on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire with intent to cause death. Thanks to all the constituents who participated in the realization of the release.”

52-year-old Nikhil Gupta was arrested in Prague when he arrived from India in June last year. His petition to avoid extradition was denied by a Czech court last month, allowing Blazek to approve the extradition.

US federal prosecutors have accused Gupta of plotting to assassinate Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a citizen of both the US and Canada who supports the creation of an independent Sikh state in northern India, by working with intelligence and security authorities.

Gupta’s Czech attorney, Petr Slepicka, indicated plans to file a constitutional complaint, stating, “It’s a political case.”

According to the report, the suspect was involved in a scheme orchestrated by the Indian government. The United States and Canada are looking into claims that India was involved in the murder of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

India has, however, denied the claims stating that the plot goes against official policy and has distanced itself from it. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom connected the purported attempt on the life of the accused to more widespread violence in India directed towards religious minorities.

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