Nikhil Gupta Forced To Eat Beef, Kept In Solitary For 100 Days, Says Family’s Plea In Supreme Court

In November this year, US authorities charged Nikhil Gupta for his alleged role a now-foiled purported plot to assassinate New York-based Khalistani separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

Nikhil Gupta was arrested in an alleged plot to kill Khalistani separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. (Image: India.Com)

New Delhi: The family of Nikhil Gupta, an Indian businessman charged by the US for his role in an alleged plot to kill New York-based Khalistani separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, has filed a plea in the Supreme Court of India, alleging that the 52-year-old was arrested without a warrant and was forced to consume beef and pork by Czech authorities.

According to US Prosecutors Gupta was arrested and detained by Czech authorities on June 30, 2023, pursuant to the bilateral extradition treaty between the United States and the Czech Republic.

Gupta was arrested in the Czech Republic at the request of the United States in connection with his participation in the plot to murder the individual, they said.

A petition filed in the Supreme Court by a family member on behalf of the Delhi-based businessman  claims Gupta was not being allowed to contact his family in India and the arrest violated his fundamental rights.

‘Arrested without warrant, forced to eat beef, pork’

In the petition to the Apex court,  Gupta claimed that he was detained by purported US agents rather than local authorities in Czechoslovakia and no formal arrest warrant was presented.

“From the outset, the petitioner contends that the circumstances surrounding his arrest were marked by irregularities, with no formal arrest warrant presented, and the apprehension executed by self-claimed US agents rather than local Czech authorities,” the petition claims.

It said that Gupta has been kept in solitary confinement for over 100 days.

“The petitioner was not shown any arrest warrant during the initial detention. Instead, he found himself in the custody of individuals purporting to represent US interests.”

The plea claimed that Gupta, a devout Hindu and a vegetarian, was forced to eat beef and pork during his detention in Czechoslovakia.

“The petitioner a devout Hindu and vegetarian, claims that he was subjected to forced consumption of beef and pork during his detention in Czech custody, a direct violation of his religions beliefs.”

Denied right to contact family in India

The petition further said, “The petitioner alleges that he was denied consular access, the right to contact his family in India, and the freedom to seek legal representation.”

“Nikhil Gupta is a law-abiding and peaceful citizen of the Republic of India, who resides in New Delhi, India, along with my family consisting of his mother, wife and two major children.”

“The petitioner is currently in detention/custody at Prague and is facing extradition to the United States. That the recent leaks of confidential information regarding the petitioner’s case at New York, US and the irresponsible reporting on the same has put an imminent threat to the life and well-being of the petitioner in Czech Republic and to his family at Delhi, India.”

“There have been numerous procedural violations threatening the fundamental rights and even the most basic human rights of the petitioner.”

“The petitioner is a middle-class businessman who runs a consultancy dealing with excavation and import-export.”

Nikhil Gupta and the Pannun ‘assassination plot’

In November this year, US authorities charged Nikhil Gupta for his alleged role a now-foiled purported plot to assassinate New York-based Khalistani separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil.

Gupta has been has been charged with murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire  by the authorities. If convicted, both charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and according to US law will be stacked together, which could mean a possible 20-year prison term upon conviction, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Matthew G. Olsen had said.

$100k hit-job

According to authorities, Gupta agreed to pay $100,000 to an assassin and to kill the Sikh separatist leader living in New York City.

“On or about June 9, 2023, CC-1 and Gupta arranged for an associate to deliver USD 15,000 in cash to the UC in Manhattan, New York, as an advance payment for the murder,” the charges read.

The indictment had not named the US citizen but The Financial Times, citing unnamed sources, last week reported that US authorities thwarted a plot to assassinate banned Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) chief Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, and issued a warning to the Indian government over concerns it was involved in the plot.

“As alleged, the defendant conspired from India to assassinate, right here in New York City, a US citizen of Indian origin who has publicly advocated for the establishment of a sovereign state for Sikhs, an ethnoreligious minority group in India,” United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams had said in a statement.


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