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HomeLatest NewsIndian national Nikhil Gupta pleads not guilty in Sikh separatist assassination plot

Indian national Nikhil Gupta pleads not guilty in Sikh separatist assassination plot

NEW DELHI: Indian national Nikhil Gupta, accused of involvement in an unsuccessful plot to assassinate a Sikh separatist, pleaded not guilty to criminal charges in the US on Monday.
Gupta, 52, who had traveled to Prague from India last year, was arrested by Czech authorities and extradited to the US last week.
He is accused of being involved in an unsuccessful plot to assassinate Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a Khalistani separatist holding dual American and Canadian citizenship, in New York.Gupta’s attorney, Jeffrey Chabrowe, described the case as a “complex matter” for both India and the US.
“This is a complex matter for both our countries. It is extremely important that we refrain from rushing to conclusions so early in the process. Background and details will develop that may cast government allegations into an entirely new light. We will pursue his defense vigorously and ensure he receives full due process, regardless of outside pressures,” Chabrowe told news agency ANI on Monday.
According to Czech justice minister Pavel Blazek, the extradition was based on his decision on June 3, and Gupta is suspected of “conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire with intent to cause death”. Currently, Gupta is being held at the federal Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn.
US federal prosecutors allege that Gupta was working under the directions of an unnamed Indian government official. New Delhi, however, has firmly dissociated itself from the plot against Pannun, saying it is against Indian government’s policy. It has said it would formally investigate security concerns raised by Washington.
Pannun is an India-designated terrorist who holds American and Canadian citizenship.

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