Khalistani leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. Photo Courtesy: Video grab from Youtube

An Indian national, who is accused of attempting to kill a Khalistani separatist in New York, has been extradited to the USA from the Czech Republic, media reports said.

The Indian national has been identified as Nikhil Gupta. He has been charged with murder for hire linked to a foiled plot to assassinate Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a Khalistani separatist leader.

Gupta, 52, is listed on the Board of Prisons inmate website as being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, a federal administrative detention facility, reported The Washington Post.

The Indian national, who had been detained in the Czech Republic in 2023, 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.

Federal prosecutors say a senior Indian government intelligence employee ordered the assassination of Pannun in May and hired Gupta to arrange the hit. US authorities broke up the plot last June before it could be carried out, reported The Washington Post.

Pannun works as the general counsel for the New York-based Sikhs for Justice.

The group seeks to carve out an independent Sikh state from Punjab named Khalistan.

Gupta’s attorney, Rohini Musa, wrote in a petition to the Indian Supreme Court that her client is being unfairly prosecuted, saying there is ‘nothing on record to link the Petitioner to the massive alleged plot to assassinate the alleged victim’, the American newspaper reported.

India designated Pannun as a terrorist in 2020.