India seeks to try gunrunner in Indian Embassy

The wanted Danish gunrunner Niels Holck may be tried in the Indian Embassy in Copenhagen after the Eastern High Court ruled he cannot be extradited

India has stepped up its efforts to try Danish citizen Niels Holck, who is wanted in India for smuggling weapons but cannot be extradited over concerns he might be tortured in an Indian prison.

According to the Times of India, the Indian government will discuss trying Holck within the Indian Embassy in Copenhagen with Denmark's foreign minister, Villy Søvndal (Socialistisk Folkeparti) when Søvndal travels to the country soon.

Holck, known as Kim Davy in India, is wanted for masterminding a weapons drop in the Indian province of West Bengal in 1995. The weapons were thought to be intended for a spiritual group called the Ananda Marga, of which Holck was a member.

While Holck managed to evade capture, six accomplices were arrested and sentenced, most of whom have since been pardoned or released.

In 2010, the Danish government accepted India’s request for extradition, but it was successfully challenged in the Eastern High Court over the risk Holck may face human rights abuses in an Indian prison.

The Indian government has since frozen diplomatic relations with Denmark in protest against the decision.

Reports from the Times of India suggest that the Indian government is still keen to have Holck extradited and wants the Danish government to appeal the Eastern High Court's decision that he cannot be extradited.

The Indian government, according to the Times, has reportedly not only consulted “top Danish law firms [that] found enough ground for appeal, but also offered to put Davy in a 'special jail' after courts there expressed concerns over the condition of Indian prisons”.

The Indian Embassy in Copenhagen did not reply to a request for comment.