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Indian law enforcement officials asked “expedite” the extradition of fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya

Indian law enforcement officials asked their British counterparts to “expedite” the extradition of fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya, “locate” wanted persons including Don Iqbal Mirchi’s wife Hajra Memon and their sons, Asif and Junaid, during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 90th Interpol General Assembly in Delhi, people familiar with the matter said.

Mallya’s extradition was approved by the UK High Court in April 2020, but has now been delayed for two and a half years due to “secret proceedings” of an unknown nature. Although the UK government has not mentioned the nature of the proceedings and Indian officials have said they are not involved, it is widely believed that Mallya has sought asylum in the UK. This was confirmed by his lawyer in 2021 to the British insolvency court.

A senior officer familiar with the bilateral meeting said the British Interpol delegation was told that “while the courts have already granted Mallya’s extradition, he must be extradited as soon as possible to face Indian criminal justice”. India has also raised the issue of the extradition of other fugitives including Nirav Modi, middleman Sanjay Bhandari (both cases are currently before the courts) and the location of Memons and some cybercriminals, the person added.

Indian officials also met their Canadian counterparts during the conference and told them “emphatically” that action must be taken against several Khalist terrorists based on its territory who are fomenting trouble in Punjab and trying to hold a referendum in Ontario next month. , said the second officer.

Canada, the officer added, designates Khalistani suspects wanted by India as “persons of interest” and Indian officials have provided their Canadian counterparts with evidence of how these individuals have been involved in online radicalization of youth, smuggling of weapons, drugs and explosives, even targeted killings in India. Last week, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also asked Canada to stop the so-called ‘Khalistan Referendum’ by banned terrorist organization ‘Sikh for Justice (SFJ)’ on November 6 in Ontario.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which organized the four-day Interpol conference, also met US officials during which it raised issues related to India’s pending requests under Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLAT), Letter Rogatories (LR), etc. and extradition.

SFJ chief Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who is driving the Khalistan referendum, is based in the US, but it is not known whether his extradition to India was discussed during the bilateral meeting. Pannun has already been declared a terrorist by the Indian government under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Indian agencies have had bilateral discussions with 22 countries including the US, UK, Canada, Japan, Australia, Russia, UAE, Nepal, Bangladesh, Oman, New Zealand, Bhutan, Namibia, Bahrain, Serbia, Malaysia and Mongolia. as well as Europol during the Interpol action. Fourteen of those happened because of requests from the other side seeking information about extradition requests and other details, the second officer said.

“On the sidelines of the 90th Interpol General Assembly, a delegation from India held bilateral meetings with delegations from several countries to discuss matters related to police cooperation, including to improve crime intelligence sharing; geographic location of refugees and criminals; countering terrorism, terrorist financing and online radicalisation; coordinating efforts to prevent cybercrime and online sexual exploitation of children,” the CBI said in a statement.

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