Security and diplomacy are the most important pillars of India’s relation with the Southeast Asian region, said India’s ambassador in Indonesia Gurjit Singh, who was the first to receive the information of Chhota Rajan’s arrest.
Prioritisation of security issues in bilateral ties means that Indian embassies keep a keen eye on the arrests of Indian nationals in the region.
“The embassy of India in Jakarta is automatically informed when an Indian is arrested anywhere in Indonesia. Our natural response in such cases is to find out if the arrested person is in need of legal assistance so that he gets to be treated according to the due process of law,” said Mr. Singh.
In the latest instance also, the ambassador said that he reached out on hearing that an Indian citizen named Mohan Kumar had been arrested, but discovered that this particular arrest was conducted due to the request from the Indian authorities.
“It was obvious that such an arrest was possible due to the deep cooperation between the security agencies of India, Indonesia and Australia,” Mr. Singh said over phone from Jakarta. It was soon known that the name of the arrested individual was Chhota Rajan.
He said India is fast optimising ties with Southeast Asia to its advantage and this has been evident in the arrest of Chhota Rajan from Bali, which was preceded by a high-profile arrest of Jagtar Singh of the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) from Thailand.
The arrest has also added a new dimension to the visit of Vice-President Hamid Ansari to Indonesia, which is due to begin on November 1, and will be followed by his trip to Brunei.
Jagtar Singh and Chhota Rajan are, however, just two of the major names from the world of terror and crime who have been nabbed from Southeast Asia.
Diplomats point out that this trend is not new but has been nurtured over the last several years, and indeed took shape when India began arresting several important criminals from the region during the UPA rule.