New Delhi: The prophets of doom may get another knock on their noses as the Vaccine Maitri of the Modi government may help India get back the fugitive diamond trader Mehul Choksi.
Sources said the Indian government is pursuing with both the Antiguan and Dominican governments and authorities to get back Choksi who is wanted in India in the PNB scam.
Mehul Choksi went missing on May 23 around 1700 hours after he left his Jolly Harbour residence in a car in Antigua and later a missing case was filed by the Antiguan police.
Choksi was reportedly ‘fleeing’ to Cuba but was held in Dominica, based on Yellow Notice by Interpol.
In February 2021, the Indian government in pursuance of its much talked about Vaccine Maitri policy had donated Covid vaccines to Dominica and the gesture was well appreciated by the government there.
Dominican Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, in his ‘Thank you note to Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and had said, “Thanks to the kindness of the Indian nation, 35,000 Dominicans will be vaccinated by April 2021 India has once again come to Dominica’s aid, and this too will not be forgotten.”
The government sources have always maintained that the Vaccine Maitri ought to have a positive impact on India winning new friends and strengthening the bond further among existing friends.
Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla has said last month during the peak of global assistance during the second wave that India is getting the international assistance and support simply based on an age-old humanitarian formula, “We have given assistance and so; we are getting assistance”.
Now, Choksi’s return to India would be another important chapter.
The fugitive diamantaire and owner of the Gitanjali group of jewellers have been residing in Antigua and Barbuda after he left India. He is wanted and charged for criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating and money laundering.
Wuhanvirus probe and India:
India is not much concerned about what its own ‘opinion’ is on the major global controversy that the Covid19 originated from Wuhan in China. But it certainly favours the “process of investigation” to continue.
“What we say as a nation or personally is not important. We have said earlier also that there should be an investigation so that the truth comes out. The issue is the process (of investigation) must be there,” a government source said here on Thursday. “Let us see what comes out. The WHO is an international body, we would like to know what comes out”.
The comment of an Indian official in this context is significant as only recently the US President Joe Biden also has said that there must be a probe.
Biden in a statement on May 26 said, “I have asked the Intelligence Community to redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion and to report back to me in 90 days. As part of that report, I have asked for areas of further inquiry that may be required, including specific questions for China”.
A global study, convened by the World Health Organization (WHO), had earlier deemed it “extremely unlikely” that there was a lab leak or so. But final report is yet to come.
However, infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci also director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the US, has said, “…. I think we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we find out to the best of our ability exactly what happened”.