24 June, 2021

Of Spies And Lies

The US blames internal discord in the Indian establishment for the espionage dust-up

Of Spies And Lies

PUBLICLY, the US State Department appears to be unaffected. Fact is, it is fuming. The latest Indo-American spat began with the expulsion of two Indian diplomats from the US in retaliation to New Delhi's march orders to the CIA deputy station director. Observers believe it could dampen bilateral ties and cast a shadow on the coming visit to Washington of Indian External Affairs Minister Inder Kumar Gujral.

On February 10, the Indian Charge d'Affaires Shiv Mukherjee was summoned to the State Department and informed that the US wanted two Indian officials withdrawn for activities "incompatible with their consular status". The two in question were junior officials at the San Francisco and Chicago consulates whose activities had reportedly been quite innocuous. Interestingly, the senior Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) official based in Washington—whose posting is due to end soon—was not asked to leave.

Although the Indian Embassy declined comment, Administration sources con-firmed that the US decision followed the...

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