India objects to Nepal minister's comment on media tycoon's murder | world | Hindustan Times
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India objects to Nepal minister's comment on media tycoon's murder

world Updated: Feb 16, 2010 17:55 IST

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India Tuesday objected to the reported comment by Nepal's minister and government spokesman that a controversial Nepal media tycoon with links to Pakistan was killed due to the prevailing tension between India and Pakistan, saying it was surprised by the reports.

Nepal's Information and Communications Minister Shankar Pokhrel, who is also the spokesman of the coalition government, had been reported as saying at a public programme Sunday that Nepali media tycoon Jamim Shah could have been killed due to the tension between New Delhi and Islamabad.

The tension was also taking its toll on Muslims living in Nepal, the minister had reportedly said.

Reacting to reports in the media about the statement, the Indian Embassy Tuesday issued a statement objecting to it.

"The embassy is surprised at reports attributing a statement by the Hon'ble Minister for Information and Communications, Shankar Pokhrel, that 'Jamim Shah was killed due to tension between India and Pakistan'," the statement said.

"No information to substantiate the reported statement by the hon'ble minister has been provided by the Government of Nepal to this embassy."

The Indian government's objection came in the wake of quick developments in both India and Nepal.

Nepal police made public the findings of its investigations into the death of Shah, who was believed to have links with Karachi-based underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and involved in running a fake Indian currency ring through Pakistan, Nepal, India and Bangladesh.

He was also suspected of being an operative of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence and involved in the hijacking of an Indian Airlines aircraft to Afghanistan in 1999.

According to Nepal police, Indian gangster Babloo Srivastava, now doing time in Uttar Pradesh state's Bareilly jail, had masterminded Shah's execution earlier this month.

Police also said the actual killing was plotted by an Indian of Nepali origin, Dipak Shahi, while six more Indians were involved in providing support to the team of two hired gunmen who shot dead Shah in a VIP area of the capital.

The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan are scheduled to hold talks Feb 25. However, India's opposition Bharatiya Janata Party is demanding that New Delhi call off the bilateral dialogue after a blast in a bakery in India's Pune city Saturday, suspected to be the handiwork of Islamic militants, killed 10.