India protests US comments on Kejriwal’s arrest, summons diplomat

The meeting, lasting approximately 40-45 minutes, was convened in response to recent statements made by the US State Department regarding the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

| Updated: 27 March, 2024 2:33 pm IST

NEW DELHI : India strongly objects to the remarks of the US State Department Spokesperson. The Indian government summoned the United States’ Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, Gloria Berbena, to the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi’s South Block. The meeting, lasting approximately 40-45 minutes, was convened in response to recent statements made by the US State Department regarding the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

In a statement released by India’s Ministry of External Affairs, India strongly objects to the comments made by the US State Department, underscoring the government’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding its sovereignty and internal affairs.

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The statement reads, “We take strong objection to the remarks of the Spokesperson of the US State Department about certain legal proceedings in India. In diplomacy, states are expected to be respectful of the sovereignty and internal affairs of others. This responsibility is even more so in the case of fellow democracies. It could otherwise end up setting unhealthy precedents.”

The US State Department had expressed concern over Kejriwal’s arrest and urged India to ensure “a fair, transparent, and timely legal process” for the detained Aam Aadmi Party leader. The statement by the Ministry of External Affairs also emphasized the importance of mutual respect and adherence to diplomatic protocols among democracies. Casting doubt on India’s legal processes and judiciary was deemed unwarranted and an unwelcome interference in India’s internal affairs.

The statement further asserts, “India’s legal processes are based on an independent judiciary which is committed to objective and timely outcomes. Casting aspersions on that is unwarranted.”

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The US response to India’s protest reiterated its stance on closely monitoring Kejriwal’s arrest and advocating for a fair legal process. This development underscores the complexity of diplomatic relations between India and the US, particularly concerning matters of domestic jurisdiction. This statement from the US followed similar remarks from Germany’s Foreign Office, which emphasized the need for an impartial trial for Kejriwal. The summoning of the US diplomat marks the second time this year that the US has faced criticism from India, the first being over remarks concerning the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

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