‘It’s not like exchanging Christmas cards’: envoy says India will follow legal process for PK Halder extradition

Vikram Kumar Doraiswami has said the Indian government will follow the legal process for the extradition of scamaster Proshanta Kumar Halder to Bangladesh.

The Indian high commissioner in Dhaka faced questions from journalists after he met Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen on Tuesday after the arrest of Halder earlier this week in West Bengal.    

He said the development was part of the “normal” cooperation between the two governments. “We have a mutual legal assistance, and we have all the requisite cooperation to deal with criminal elements of both sides.”

“Your government shared information with the counterpart agencies, the agencies examined information, took action.”

The Enforcement Directorate of India said it raided properties bought by Halder and his associates by using fake Indian identities on Friday. On Saturday, the Indian media reported Halder and five of his associates were arrested.

Authorities in Bangladesh, however, have not received any details on the arrest of Halder through formal channels from India. The Interpol’s Bangladesh chapter wrote to its Indian counterpart seeking information on Halder, who is wanted in a scam involving billions of taka.

“Now there is a legal process that has to be followed. So that will happen. It’s a process nothing outside the ordinary in that sense. It is normal for India and Bangladesh to cooperate against organised crime and criminal individual etc.,” Doraiswami said. 

“This is a process, right? The arrest has been done just over the weekend. There will be responses in some points of time from our side based on information [that] had been provided.

“It’s not like exchanging Christmas cards. Things are done through a legal process. So, let that happen slowly. We will be working with Bangladesh, the information came from Bangladesh,” he said.

Secretary Masud said he sought India’s help in bringing Halder to justice for the crimes he committed in Bangladesh at the meeting with Doraiswami. The Indian high commissioner pledged “full cooperation” after the end of the legal process involving Halder, Masud said.

Asked whether India will wait until the trial of Halder and the end of his jail term, if he is given any, Masud said Doraiswami did not mention it specifically. “It will be clear after the legal process advances a little further.”       

“It is their [India’s] duty to find out whether any crime has been committed there. The process may be at the stage of investigation now.”