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Indian suspect in plot to kill Sikh separatist extradited to US By Reuters

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By Kanishka Singh and Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An Indian man suspected by the U.S. of involvement in an unsuccessful plot to kill a Sikh separatist on American soil has been extradited to america from the Czech Republic, in line with the federal Bureau of Prisons web site and a supply aware of the matter.

Nikhil Gupta has been accused by U.S. federal prosecutors of plotting with an Indian authorities official to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a U.S. resident who advocated for a sovereign Sikh state in northern India.

Gupta traveled to Prague from India final June and was arrested by Czech authorities. Final month, a Czech court docket rejected his petition to keep away from being despatched to the U.S., clearing the best way for the Czech justice minister to extradite him.

An inmate search by title on the Bureau of Prisons web site confirmed on Sunday that Gupta, 52, is being held on the Metropolitan Detention Heart, Brooklyn, a federal administrative detention facility. A supply aware of the matter, who didn’t need to be recognized, individually confirmed Gupta’s extradition and his detention in Brooklyn.

A U.S. Justice Division spokesperson declined to remark. Gupta’s U.S.-based lawyer, legal professional Jeffrey Chabrowe, had no rapid remark. There was additionally no rapid remark from Czech authorities.

The invention of assassination plots in opposition to Sikh separatists within the U.S. and Canada has examined relations with India, seen by Western nations as a counter to China’s rising international affect. India’s authorities denies involvement within the plots.

Canada stated in September its intelligence companies have been pursuing allegations linking India’s authorities to the homicide of Sikh separatist chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June 2023 in Canada.

In November, U.S. authorities stated an Indian authorities official had directed the plot within the tried homicide of Pannun, who’s a U.S. and Canadian citizen. Gupta is accused of involvement in that plot.

Pannun advised Reuters on Sunday that whereas the extradition was a welcome step, “Nikhil Gupta is just a foot soldier.” He alleged that those that employed Gupta have been senior members of the Indian authorities who act on the path of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India’s authorities has dissociated itself from the plot in opposition to Pannun, saying it was in opposition to authorities coverage. It has stated it could formally examine safety issues raised by Washington.

New Delhi has lengthy complained about Sikh separatist teams exterior India, viewing them as safety threats. The teams have stored alive the motion for Khalistan, or the demand for an impartial Sikh state to be carved out of India.

Final month, Washington stated it was glad to date with India’s strikes to make sure accountability within the alleged plots, however added that many steps nonetheless wanted to be taken.

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