India assures action against diplomat for flight incident (Second Lead)By IANS
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
NEW DELHI/UNITED NATIONS - India’s external affairs ministry has recalled its diplomat Alok Ranjan Jha from the UN and said Wednesday that “follow-up” action would be taken against him for allegedly misbehaving with a passenger on an Air India flight to New York about two weeks ago.
The ministry is aware of the unfortunate incident. The matter was looked into immediately, Vishnu Prakash, the spokesperson of the external affairs ministry, told reporters here Wednesday.
The officer since stands transferred back to headquarters. Necessary follow-up action will be taken once he is back in New Delhi, he said.
Jha, a 2002 Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer and first secretary in India’s permanent mission at UN in New York, has been transferred to Delhi following the incident Jan 7, sources said.
His recall comes close on the heels of Anil Verma, the third-ranking diplomat at the Indian high commission in London, who is being recalled following charges of wife-beating.
Ashok Tomar, additional secretary in charge of administration in the ministry, deals with cases of inappropriate behaviour by IFS officers.
In the US, an Indian diplomat told IANS: “We have been told that there are reports appearing on Indian television regarding transfer of Mr Alok Jha to Delhi.”
“Matters regarding an incident involving him at JFK Airport were promptly reported to the ministry of external affairs, which is now seized of the matter and has transferred the officer to New Delhi,” he said, without giving details. He did not wish to be named, citing ministry rules.
The diplomat was transferred after he allegedly misbehaved with Air India flight attendants on a flight to New York Jan 7. There was, however, no confirmation of this incident.
Jha topped the all-India civil services exams in 2002 and had opted for the IFS as his first choice.
Last week, the external affairs ministry decided to transfer back to India Anil Verma, minister (economic) and third-ranking diplomat in the Indian high commission in London, following allegations of assaulting his wife.