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Business News/ News / World/  Pannun murder plot accused Nikhil Gupta arrested on ‘America’s request', says Czech ministry
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Pannun murder plot accused Nikhil Gupta arrested on ‘America’s request', says Czech ministry

Nikhil Gupta, the man accused of conspiring to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, has been arrested in the Czech Republic at the request of the US.

On November 29, Nikhil Gupta was charged by federal prosecutors in the United States in connection with his alleged participation in a foiled plot to assassinate Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil. (AFP)Premium
On November 29, Nikhil Gupta was charged by federal prosecutors in the United States in connection with his alleged participation in a foiled plot to assassinate Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil. (AFP)

Nikhil Gupta, the Indian man accused of plotting Khalistani separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun's killing, was arrested on ‘America’s request', says the Czech Republic's Ministry of Justice. Last month, the US authorities foiled a plot to kill Pannun, a Khalistani separatist and leader of the banned outfit, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ).

On November 29, US federal prosecutors charged Indian national Nikhil Gupta with working with an Indian government employee in the foiled plot to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, an American and Canadian citizen. 

An unnamed Indian official also appeared in an indictment along with the Indian national, who the Department of Justice alleges hired someone in the US to assassinate Pannun.

The 52-year-old Nikhil Gupta was charged with murder-for-hire, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail.

The US authorities had said Nikhil Gupta agreed to pay an assassin $100,000 to kill the Sikh separatist leader living in New York City.

The prosecutors had said Czech authorities arrested and detained Gupta on June 30, under the bilateral extradition treaty between the US and the Czech Republic.

Meanwhile, a relative of the murder plot of Pannun accused Nikhil Gupta, has filed a habeas corpus plea in the Supreme Court of India, seeking consular help. 

However, a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and S V N Bhatti described the matter as an "extremely sensitive issue for the Ministry of External Affairs" and told senior advocate C A Sundaram, representing Nikhil Gupta, to approach a court in the Czech Republic, where his client is lodged in a jail.

The plea filed in the Supreme Court of India through advocate Rohini Musa says it seeks the court's urgent intervention in the matter of the illegal arrest and ongoing extradition proceedings against Gupta, a law-abiding Indian citizen, in the Czech Republic.

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Published: 15 Dec 2023, 08:49 PM IST
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