Sikh separatist arrested in India after manhunt

Indian police on April 24 arrested Sikh separatist leader Amritpal Singh after a month-long manhunt. Singh gained notoriety for supporting the Khalistan movement, which calls for the establishment of an independent Sikh homeland in the northwest state of Punjab. He was taken into custody in the gurdwara (Sikh place of worship) in the village of Moga, Punjab. He is charged with attempted murder, obstructing law enforcement, and disturbing the peace under terms of the harsh National Security Act. The charges concern a Feb. 23 incident in which hundreds of followers of Singh's organization Waris Punjab De (Heirs of Punjab) stormed a police station in Amritsar with sticks, swords and firearms, demanding the release of a detained member of their group. During the manhunt for Singh, authorities cut off internet access to all Punjab, a state of nearly 30 million. (Jurist, Mint)

US indicts India national in assassination plot on Sikh activist

The US Department of Justice announced Nov. 29 an indictment against Indian national Nikhil Gupta for an alleged unsuccessful plot to assassinate a US citizen of Indian descent who is a Sikh separatist advocate. The unsealed indictment accuses Gupta of making payments for the intended murder, and instructing that the murder should not occur during "anticipated high-level diplomatic engagement" between India and the US.

The announcement comes two months after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that India's government may have carried out the murder of Sikh community leader and gurdwara president Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was gunned down in June in the parking lot of his Surrey, British Columbia place of worship. The September announcement from Trudeau has since strained diplomatic relations between Canada and India. (Jurist)

Czech Republic to extradite Nikhil Gupta

A Czech appeals court has ruled that Prague can extradite to the United States an Indian man accused by the US of involvement in an unsuccessful plot to kill a Sikh separatist on American soil, according to the Czech news website Seznam Zprávy.

The US Department of Justice announced te indictment of Nikhil Gupta in November 2023. According to the DoJ, Gupta paid an undercover US agent to assassinate Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a political activist who lives in New York. Gupta was arrested in the Czech Republic in June 2023 at the request of the US. (Jurist)