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Govt. aided escape of ‘proclaimed offender’ Mallya: Congress

Manish Tewari

New Delhi : Training guns at the Centre after reports emerged that Vijay Mallya was spotted at a book launch event that was also attended by Indian envoy Navtej Sarna at the London School of Economics this week, the Congress Party today said the incident clearly indicates that the escape of the Indian business tycoon was perhaps aided and abetted by the BJP-led NDA government.

“The High Commissioner knows what the policy of its government is. It is hardly surprising to find him present at an event where Mr Mallya, otherwise an allegedly proclaimed offender, was also present,” Congress leader Manish Tewari told a media briefing.

Tewari further said that such episodes are fairly indicative of the manner in which the government is functioning as enough has been said with regard to the fact that his escape was perhaps aided and abetted by the government.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued a clarification today after reports emerged that Mallya, who has been declared a proclaimed offender by a Mumbai court in a money laundering case, was spotted at a book launch event at London School of Economics this week that was attended by Indian envoy Navtej Sarna and said that the Indian business tycoon was not an invitee at the event open to all.

Issuing a statement, the MEA clarified that Mallya was not an invitee at the event in London attended by the Indian High Commissioner.

“With regards to the story on Vijay Mallya at an event in London on June 16, please note that there were two clear segments – the book launch by UK Minister Jo Johnson and discussion at LSE and later a reception at the High Commission for select guests,” the statement read.

“Mallya was certainly not an invitee to the reception at the High Commission for which the invitations were issued by the High Commission, and was not present,” it added.

Mallya, the owner of United Spirits, United Breweries and Kingfisher Airlines, has been living in London since March after failing to repay a Rs. 900 crore debt to the IDBI bank that he had taken in 2009 to shore up the Kingfisher Airline. (ANI)

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