India asked for the UK’s help for the early extradition of embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya and former IPL manager Lalit Modi, and in tracing diamantaire Nirav Modi during the third Indo-UK Home Affairs dialogue, which began on Wednesday. New Delhi also raised concerns over the recent anti-India activities in London, asking the UK government to not allow the British territory to be used for Kashmiri and Khalistani separatists’ activities.
“Detailed exchange of views took place between the two sides on Indian fugitives and economic offenders residing in the UK. The Indian delegation impressed upon the UK authorities the need to expedite the process of extradition,” the Home Ministry said in its statement.
The Indian delegation, led by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, urged Britain to monitor the activities of extremists groups and take necessary actions against them. They also requested the UK team, headed by UK Second Permanent Secretary Patsy Wilkinson, for timely sharing of intelligence on separatist groups in the UK.
India and UK had signed the MoU on exchange of information for the purpose of combating international criminality and tackling serious organised crime during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to London last month.
The Indian side brought up issues relating to Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi and Nirav Modi during the meeting, while also seeking the UK’s assistance in the extradition of alleged cricket bookie Sanjiv Kapur and legal help in the prosecution of 16 other alleged criminals.
“We have sought the help of the authorities in the UK in extradition of our wanted persons. The process is on and everyone knows because of our proactive action, Mallya had to go to a court in the UK,” PTI quoted an official as saying.
Liquor baron Vijay Mallya is facing CBI and ED investigations after being accused of defrauding Indian banks of Rs 9,000 crore. He flee India on March 2, 2016, and was taken into custody by Scotland Yard next year on an extradition warrant. Mallya, currently out on bail, is fighting the extradition case in a UK court.
Meanwhile, diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are wanted by authorities for allegedly duping Punjab National Bank of Rs 13,000 crore. Another Indian fugitive, Lalit Modi, who left India after being charged with money laundering, is residing in the UK right now.
Today’s dialogue included a wide range of issues, including cybersecurity, women safety, organised crime and terror financing, and a need to put in place a mechanism for timely exchange of information and intelligence inputs on such issues.
“An important topic taken up for discussion related to streamlining the process of various categories of visas for Indian students and highly skilled professionals and other categories. It was agreed that there will be further interactions on the issues. It was agreed to maintain the momentum for enhanced security cooperation between the two countries,” the Home Ministry statement said.
The two sides also took up matters related to the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and strengthening of intelligence-sharing mechanism during the India-UK Home Affairs dialogue, which was set up during British Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to India in November 2016.
(with PTI inputs)