New York Mayor supports NYPD officer arrested in India

New York Mayor supports NYPD officer arrested in India

New York city Mayor Bill de Blasio has said there "may be" an "ulterior motive" behind the arrest of a New York Police Department officer in India, even as he vowed to make all efforts to ensure fair treatment to officer.

"We don't have enough information to 100 per cent determine whether there is an ulterior motive in that situation. Obviously, I'm concerned there may be," he told reporters here yesterday when asked if the arrest of Manny Encarnacion on charges of carrying bullets in his luggage was "politically motivated".

New York Congressman Peter King had this week termed Encarnacion's arrest as being "politically motivated" in a tit-for-tat response to the arrest of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade.

The Mayor said he is also concerned about the well-being of Encarnacion, who has been released from prison but is awaiting the next court hearing.

"We are very hopeful that that will go smoothly and he'll be able to leave India without further difficulty. But we're very closely monitoring the situation, working with the State Department, with the American Embassy in India to make sure that he is treated fairly," de Blasio said.

"We'll make sure if we feel there's anything he needs that he's not getting, we're going to be there to support him," he added.

Encarnacion, 49, was arrested on March 11 at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport after three bullets were found in his checked luggage as he was flying back to the US.

He has been charged with violating the Indian Arms Act of 1959 and faces up to seven years in prison. He is forbidden from leaving India till his case has been settled in court.His next court appearance is on April 17.

Meanwhile, an editorial in the New York Post said the US should use its influence with India and convey to New Delhi that there will be a "high price to pay" if Encarnacion is not released.

The Indian Consulate here has dismissed as "ridiculous suggestions" that Encarnacion's arrest is connected in any way to the Khobragade issue.

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