The announcement by Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister, Gaston Browne to revoke economic fugitive Mehul Choksi's citizenship led to BJP's first reaction since the development.
BJP National Secretary R P Singh while talking to the Republic said that he is confident that Choksi will be brought back to India in four days. He said that the Modi government has handled the situation:
"I am confident that Choksi will return in four days. His time's up. The Modi government has maintained the pressure both politically and diplomatically on the whole issue. All the economic defaulters have to come back anyhow. Their time is out now."he said
Singh stated that this will also send a strong and loud message that one cannot simply evade a country after engaging in economic scandals. In addition, Singh also said that the message should also be heard and considered by the International community which harbours and gives a safe sanctuary to fugitive economic fugitives. Talking to Republic, Singh said:
"You cannot give shelter to fugitives on some cringy grounds. That is not going to happen anymore." he said
The BJP National Security concluded by asserting that all fugitives should be brought back to India:
"The fugitives have to come back here. Since they escaped from India, they should be tried on the basis of Indian laws." he said
Earlier on Tuesday, Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne released a statement that read:
“His citizenship was processed; he got through but the reality is his citizenship will be revoked and he will be repatriated to India; so there is recourse. It’s not a case that we are trying to provide any safe harbour for criminals, for those who are involved in financial crimes,” Gaston Browne said as per the report.
He further stated that the Antiguan government is in touch with the Indian government and has assured that after Choksi has exhausted all legal options available to him, he will be extradited back to India. Choksi was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda on January 15, 2018. He has been living in this country since 2018 after fleeing from India. Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi along with Nirav Modi has been absconding from India. They are the main accused in the Punjab National Bank Scam of over Rs 13,000 crore.
The first call for Choksi's extradition came in July last year, following which the government of India has been taking some serious efforts to get him extradited.