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India summons US State Department official over call for fair legal treatment of arrested opposition leader

New Delhi CNN —

India’s Ministry of External Affairs summoned a US State Department official after the department called for a fair legal process for opposition leader and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal following his arrest last week.

“We take strong objection to the remarks of the Spokesperson of the US State Department about certain legal proceedings in India,” the Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

“In diplomacy, states are expected to be respectful of the sovereignty and internal affairs of others. This responsibility is even more so in case of fellow democracies,” the statement added.

The Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday summoned Gloria Berbena, the State Department Minister-Counselor for Public Diplomacy, according to a diplomatic officer with knowledge of the matter.

At a briefing later on Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller declined to discuss “private diplomatic conversations” when asked about Berbena’s summoning, but stood by the department’s previous comments.

“We encourage fair, transparent, timely legal processes. We don’t think anyone should object to that, and we’ll make the same thing clear privately,” Miller said.

Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Man's Party, workers shout slogans as Enforcement Directorate, a federal agency that probes economic offenses, arrive to arrest their leader Arvind Kejriwal at his residence, in New Delhi, India, March 21, 2024. India's anti-corruption crusader Arvind Kejriwal was arrested Thursday by a federal agency that accused his party and ministers of accepting 1 billion rupees ($12 million) in bribes from liquor contractors nearly two years ago, a top leader of his party said. (AP Photo)

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