Upset over Azam Khan's detention, Akhilesh forces cancellation of NY Consulate reception

Akhilesh-Azam KhanTo protest against the alleged misbehaviour with UP minister Azam Khan at Boston airport, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Khan boycotted an event at Harvard University. (IE photo)

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today forced the Indian Consulate here to cancel a reception to be hosted in his honour by it, upset over the detention of his cabinet colleague Azam Khan at the Boston airport on Wednesday.

"Due to unavoidable circumstances, the reception scheduled to be held in honour of Akhilesh Kumar Yadav, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh on April 27 at the Consulate General of India, New York, has been cancelled", a communication from the Indian Consulate in New York said, without giving exact reasons for the step.

Consul General Ambassador Dnyaneshwar Mulay, who took charge on Wednesday after his assignment as Ambassador of Maldives, refused to comment on the reason for cancellation of the reception.

This was to be the first official function of the Consulate after Mulay took charge.

Yadav, yesterday had also boycotted the Harvard lecture he was due to deliver in protest against Khan's detention.

Invitation to the reception were sent out to all the prominent Indian-Americans, community leaders, elected officials, friends of India in New York and the media two days ago after the Consulate got the confirmation from the office of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, Mulay said last night on the sidelines of a community reception in his honour at the Asia Society in New York that it was unfortunate that a minister in the state government was treated with disrespect on arrival at Boston Logan International Airport.

He said that his Mission, under whom Boston Logan International Airport falls, would raise the matter at the appropriate level to prevent its recurrence in the future.

Mulay said his Mission would lodge its strongest protest with the State Department and the Homeland Security on the question of disrespect to the Minister as per the guidance of the Government of India.

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