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India 'determined' to get Abu Salem

NEW DELHI DEC. 4. The Government today assured the Rajya Sabha that it was determined to have the underworld don, Abu Salem, extradited to India from Portugal, where he has been detained since September.

Responding to supplementaries, the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, said Lisbon was extending full cooperation to New Delhi and papers seeking his extradition were under preparation. Soon after receiving news of Salem's detention, CBI officials went to Portugal and, along with Indian Embassy officials, held discussions with the authorities there on extradition.

Mr. Advani said that even though India did not have an extradition treaty with Portugal, the latter had sought details of the cases registered against Salem. The Centre, in turn, had asked the Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh to furnish a list of the cases with copies of first information reports against Salem in their States so that a firm case could be presented.

Portugal had sent Salem to 90 days' remand. He was detained on September 19 on the strength of an Interpol warrant. One of the problems was that Portugal could not extradite a person to another country which had provision for capital punishment.

Asked whether any assurance given to Portugal of not awarding such a sentence would amount to interference in the judicial process in India, Mr. Advani said that legal opinion had been sought.

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