Nirav Modi in UK for ‘persecution’ asylum

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New Delhi, June 11

Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, wanted in connection with the over Rs 13,000-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, is in the United Kingdom and will seek asylum for “political persecution” back home. This was confirmed by the British authorities during a counter-terrorism dialogue meeting at the North Block.Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said UK Minister for Counter-terrorism Baroness Williams, confirming that the diamond trader was in her country, assured Minister of State (MoS) for Home Kiren Rijiju that the British Government would “extend all possible cooperation” in extraditing Indian fugitives, including Nirav Modi, liquor baron Vijay Mallya and others. Noting that the meeting was “fruitful”, MoS Rijiju wrote in a Twitter post,  “…we discussed about India-UK joint efforts to deal with terrorism and extremism. We also agreed to cooperate in matters of extradition and sharing of information”.   Sources said the Indian side tried to allay UK’s apprehensions on the issue of human rights and the conditions in Indian jails, stressing that India fully adhered to international laws. India is also pushing for Mallya’s extradition. A London court is to give its verdict on whether he can be extradited to face charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to Rs 9,000 crore.

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