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'You've made India a laughing stock'

Beleaguered envoy to N Zealand Harish Dogra has accused Foreign Secy Saran of bringing shame on the country.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2006 11:16 IST

India's High Commissioner to New Zealand Harish Kumar Dogra is defying an order for his recall home and accused the Indian External Affairs Secretary of bringing shame on the country, reports said on Thursday.

The High Commissioner was reportedly given two weeks to return to New Delhi a month ago but has refused to go.

He was believed to have antagonised some in New Zealand's Indian community by refusing to issue visas for travel to India.

The Dominion Post and Indian Newslink newspapers said they had received a copy of a letter from Dogra to External Affairs Secretary Secretary Shyam Saran.

In the letter, Dogra described the recall order as ill-advised and illegal and called on Saran to resign.

"What have I been charged with, why am I being hanged without even being given an opportunity to be heard?" said Dogra's letter, dated April 10.

Dogra defended his decision to refuse some visas as well as his handling of the high commission's finances.

He also accused the Indian government of releasing slanderous accusations against him to the Indian media.

"You have made India a laughing stock in this part of the world. You have not only humiliated me but brought shame on the country," he wrote.

The Dominion Post said an Indian foreign ministry spokesman in New Delhi refused to comment on the recall because it was an administrative decision.