In Pannun case, democratic senators urge a strong diplomatic response while Nikhil Gupta pleads not guilty in US court


Our Bureau

Washington, DC

In a significant move, a group of powerful senators from the Democratic party on Monday sought a “strong diplomatic” response from the Biden administration in an alleged case involving the Indian government’s role in a foiled plot to assassinate a Sikh separatist on US soil.

“We urge a strong diplomatic response to ensure that all of those who were involved are held accountable and request a briefing on the status of the administration’s engagement with the Indian government on this matter,” the senators wrote in a two-page letter addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The letter was signed by Senators Jeff Merkley, Ron Wyden, Tim Kaine, Bernie Sanders, and Chris Van Hollen.

Meanwhile, Indian national Nikhil Gupta, suspected by the US of involvement in an unsuccessful plot to kill the India-designated pro-Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil pleaded not guilty on Monday at a federal court in the US. He made his first appearance in Manhattan federal court before Magistrate Judge James Cott. Gupta was extradited to the US from the Czech Republic on Friday.

While speaking to reporters, Gupta’s US-based lawyer, attorney Jeffrey Chabrowe said that they would file a bail application at a later date, meaning Gupta will continue to be detained for now.

The discovery of alleged assassination plots against Pannun in the US has brought the India-US relationship under the spotlight.

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