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1st India-UK Home Affairs dialogue

The First Home Affairs Dialogue between India and UK took place on Thursday, during which Vijay Mallya’s extradition came up. India asked UK to speed up the extradition. Both sides agreed to address the issue of illegal immigrants. They asserted a common ground on fighting cyber crimes and terrorism.

UK Home office delegation led by Patsy Wilkinson, Second Permanent Secretary, walking in to meet her Indian counterpart Rajiv Mehrishi, while a lot was on the agenda, the issue of early completion of the extradition process of Vijay Mallya topped India’s priorities. Since the matter is sub judice it was not discussed directly, but India did make efforts to strengthen the speedy execution of extraditions in general, given that India and the UK signed a treaty in 1992.

Vijay Mallya, who has been living in Britain since last year, was arrested by the Scotland Yard last month on the extradition request of India. Within hours of his arrest, Mallya, who is accused of cheating and frauds, was released on bail by a London court. UK’s Crown Prosecution Service will argue the case on behalf of the Indian authorities.

Mallya, whose now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines allegedly owes more than Rs 9,000 crore to various banks, had fled India on March 2, 2016.

India and UK agreed to address the challenges of illegal migrants. The two sides will work together to ensure smooth return of Indians overstaying in UK subject to nationality verification.

Both sides also agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation regarding criminal data sharing and tackling serious and organised crimes. There was a push to formalising arrangements in this sphere.

India raised the issue of visa related difficulties faced by Indian students, skilled professional and dependents of Indian diplomats.

Both India and UK emphasised the need for cooperation on anti- terrorism mechanism and strengthening mutual support to check cyber crimes.

This meeting was a follow up of Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to India in November, 2016 when the two leaders expressed their commitment enhanced and strengthened dialogue.

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