No Uganda official met Kejriwal team

Diplomatic row: Salman Khurshid says AAP spoiling ties with friendly nations in Africa

The High Commission of Uganda in New Delhi on Monday conveyed to the Ministry of External Affairs that none from the mission had met the Law Minister of the National Capital Territory, Somnath Bharti, or anyone else in his party or the government.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had claimed that an official from the embassy had met Bharti.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Monday accused the Aam Aadmi Party of playing with the country’s relations with friendly nations in Africa, after it made public a June 2013 communication from the High Commission of Uganda here to stress that some women from the East African nation were forced into prosti-tution rackets after coming to India.

“They (AAP) are playing with our relations with friendly countries,” said Khurshi.

Kejriwal claimed that an official of the Ugandan High Commission had met Bharti and given him the copy of a letter written by another official of the mission to the government of the East African country.

The letter, which the AAP released to the media on Monday, was written by the Defence Advisor of the Ugandan High Commission, Brig. George J Etyang, to the Chief of Military Intelligence of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces in Kampala on June 19, 2013. 

The letter was about a woman, who came from Uganda to India in May 2013 looking for a job to support her poor family, but was forced into a prostitution racket.

The woman, according to the letter, fled from the clutches of her tormentors and took refuge in the Ugandan High Commission, which made arrangements for her repatriation.

The defence advisor of the Ugandan High Commission advised the Chief of Military Intelligence of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces to interrogate the woman after her arrival in Kampala to elicit more information about the trafficking racket that operated in both countries.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who launched an indefinite sit-in demonstration in front of the Rail Bhavan on Monday, claimed that the Ugandan High Commission official also thanked Minister Somnath Bharti and the AAP for the campaign against sex rackets.
Khurshid’s counter

“It is completely wrong. They are not here. The High Commissioner (of Uganda) is not here (in New Delhi),” said Khurshid, with the MEA claiming that most of the officials of the Ugandan High Commission barring one were not in New Delhi at present.

Kejriwal has demanded strong action by the Ministry of Home Affairs against the officials of the Delhi Police as they refused to join Bharti, who led a vigilante mob to conduct raids into the rented accommodations of the people from Uganda and other African countries – mostly students – at Khirkhi Extension in south Delhi on the suspicion that they were involved with sex and drug rackets.

The mob also detained two Ugandan and two Nigerian women for hours accusing them of indulging in prostitution.

Two of them were allegedly forced to give urine samples in public for drug tests. The tests, however, found no evidence of use of narcotics.

The African nationals at Khirkhi Extension also alleged that the mob led by Bharti and the other AAP activists hurled racist abuses on them.

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