WASHINGTON (DIYA TV) —  Amidst the unfolding legal saga of Nikhil Gupta, an Indian national detained in the Czech Republic for an alleged plot to assassinate Khalistani separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, members of the US Congress have voiced deep concern over the case. Gupta’s family filed a Habeas Corpus plea in India, seeking government intervention in securing his release, citing human rights violations during his detention.

Gupta’s family alleges multiple violations during his detention in the Czech Republic, asserting extraterritorial detention by individuals claiming to be US agents without a formal arrest warrant, irregularities in the arrest process, forceful questioning, and three-hour detention in an SUV. As a devout Hindu and vegetarian, Gupta claims he was forcibly made to consume beef and pork, a violation of his religious beliefs. Allegations also include denial of rights such as consular access, contacting family, and seeking legal representation, citing infringements on his rights. The plea highlights extrajudicial actions by individuals claiming to be American agents, emphasizing the need for a thorough investigation into these allegations from both American and Indian perspectives.

In a joint statement, Indian-American Congress members Ami Bera, Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi, and Shri Thanedar expressed apprehension about the allegations made in the indictment against Gupta. They stressed the importance of the safety and well-being of constituents, calling the indictment “deeply concerning.”

The Biden Administration officials briefed the lawmakers on the indictment, revealing that Gupta faces charges of murder-for-hire in the United States, with a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Gupta is accused of conspiring to assassinate Pannun, a US citizen, on American soil.

The Congress members welcomed the Indian government’s announcement of a Committee of Enquiry to investigate the alleged murder plot. They urged India to conduct a thorough investigation, hold those responsible accountable, and provide assurances that such incidents would not recur.

The joint statement emphasized the impact of the US-India partnership on the citizens of both nations. Lawmakers cautioned that if the actions outlined in the indictment were not appropriately addressed, they could cause significant damage to this consequential partnership.

Notably, the statement underlined the fundamental constitutional duty of Congress to protect the life, liberty, and freedom of expression of US citizens at home and abroad. The lawmakers acknowledged the classified briefing provided by the Biden Administration on the Department of Justice’s indictment of Gupta.

Gupta’s case raises questions about potential violations of human rights, including his alleged extraterritorial detention by US agents, forced consumption of beef and pork against his religious beliefs, denial of consular access, and the right to legal representation. The focus on human rights, combined with diplomatic considerations, adds a layer of complexity to the legal proceedings and underscores the need for a comprehensive investigation from both American and Indian perspectives.