Deal firmly

India must resist the brazen arm-twisting that the Danish government is engaging in. Kim Davy, a Danish national is wanted in India in connection with the Purulia arms case, a crime that dates back to 1995.

Davy is not just the prime accused in this case but also he is a fugitive from Indian law, having escaped from the country many years ago. And the Danish government has been openly protecting this fugitive. It has repeatedly turned down India’s requests to extradite him for trial here, demanding special treatment for Davy.

Denmark has raised concerns over conditions in Indian jails. Whatever the merit of these concerns, Denmark needs to respect Indian laws. Davy after all violated Indian laws while in this country and he must face the courts here.

His was a serious crime and he is undeserving of concessions. Still, in an extraordinary gesture of accommodation of Denmark’s demands, India agreed to try Davy in Copenhagen and was even open to the idea of allowing him to serve out his sentence in Denmark. But even this seems to be not enough for the Danish government, which has asked India to initiate the process again. Clearly, Denmark is stalling India’s effort to bring the accused to justice.

There is no reason for India to bend over backwards to accommodate Denmark’s demands or show Davy any leniency. By extending him special treatment India is setting a bad precedent. It will pave the way for other countries to demand similar leniency in the treatment of their nationals.

One of the core tenets of justice is equality of all in the eyes of the law. Denmark is violating that tenet with its unreasonable demands. The country is known for good governance, but this image stands sullied now. By refusing to extradite Davy, Denmark has signalled its contempt for the rule of law. The protection it is providing to a person who was seeking to facilitate violence and unrest in India by dropping weapons here amounts to abetment of violence, even terrorism. India must not take this lightly. It should stand up to Denmark’s bullying.

Delhi has scaled down diplomatic interaction with Denmark. It should extend that to economic engagement as well. That will bite business in Denmark sufficiently to prompt the government to rethink its decision to support a fugitive.

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