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India protests assault of its embassy officials in Pakistan

India protests assault of its embassy officials in Pakistan

Author: Press Trust of India
Publication: www.expressindia.com
Date: November 10, 2001
URL: http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=4428

New Delhi, November 9: India on Friday lodged a strong protest against the abduction and assault of two Indian High Commission officials in Pakistan by ISI agents and demanded that appropriate action be taken against those responsible for it.

New Delhi's protest over the ''reprehensible'' and ''uncivilized'' incidents of Thursday in Islamabad and Lahore were conveyed both in India and in Pakistan.

Pakistan high commissioner Ashraf Jehangir Qazi was summoned to South block by R.S. Kalha, secretary (West), External Affairs Ministry in this regard.

In Islamabad, Indian high commissioner Vijay K Nambiar took up the matter with the Pakistan foreign office.

P. Ravindranathan, an attache to the Indian mission, was badly beaten up, an External Affairs Ministry spokesperson told reporters. Ravindranathan has a ''blurred vision'' and is suspected to have sustained internal injuries, the spokesperson said.

Ravindranathan was travelling to Lahore en route to the Indian border at Wagah-Attari with his wife and son, when a person identifying himself as an ISI officer accosted him demanded to see the contents of the bag being carried by the Indian staffer in Lahore, the spokesperson said.

Upon his refusal to do so, the ISI agent forcibly opened the bag. He also sought to confiscate the money but returned it when the Indian official threatened to report the incident to the police.

Thereafter, Ravindranathan was threatened with ''dire consequences'' if he returned to Pakistan. The Indian official lodged an FIR at the Gulberg police station in Lahore.

The Indian high commissioner raised the issue with the Pakistan foreign secretary Inamul Haq Thursday evening.

Soon after this, another official Devendra Kumar Gupta, who worked in the visa section, was intercepted by at least eight Pakistani intelligence operatives when he was returning home from the central market place, blue area around 9 P.M. Thursday night.

Both Gupta and his wife were dragged out. Gupta's wife was gagged and manhandled by an operative while being dragged to one side, the spokesperson said. ''In the process, she sustained scratch injuries on her face''.

Gupta, who was expelled from Pakistan on Wednesday in a retaliatory action and told to leave the country within seven days, was then pulled into the land cruiser driven by the Pakistani officials and driven away to an unknown destination.

Gupta was released early Friday morning ''in a badly beaten and bruised state'', the spokesperson said. An FIR has been lodged with the Kohsar police station in Islamabad.
 


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