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India Summons Iranian Envoy Over Iran Foreign Minister’s Tweet On Delhi Violence

In a tweet, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif had decried what he called “organised violence against Indian Muslims”. New Delhi has lodged a “strong protest”.

New Delhi| India on Tuesday summoned the Iranian envoy, Ambassador Ali Chegeni, to protest the Iranian foreign minister’s description of the communal violence in Delhi as “senseless thuggery” and “organised violence against Indian Muslims”.

A “strong protest” was lodged over comments made by Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on matters internal to India, sources said.

Javad Zarif made the remarks in a tweet he posted late on Monday night.

He urged New Delhi to “ensure the well-being of all Indians” and said the path forward lay “in peaceful dialogue and the rule of law”.

“For centuries, Iran has been a friend of India. We urge Indian authorities to ensure the well-being of ALL Indians and not let senseless thuggery prevail. Path forward lies in peaceful dialogue and rule of law,” he wrote.

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Raveesh Kumar, the Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson, last week had urged international leaders and bodies to not make irresponsible statements during such sensitive times.

“The Iranian Ambassador in Delhi was summoned on Tuesday and a strong protest was lodged over the comments made by Javad Zarif on a matter internal to India,” sources said.

The Delhi violence came right in the middle of a two-day visit by United States President Donald Trump, who, at one point, was only 15 kilometres away from the destruction.

Shops, schools and homes were burnt as thugs terrorised residents for four days before Delhi Police, heavily criticised for their slow reaction, managed to get things under control.

Over 45 people have been killed in riots that have devastated parts of northeast Delhi.

Nearly 1,300 people have been arrested or detained so far in connection with the violence.

Delhi Police sources later said encrypted messaging platform WhatsApp may have been used by goons to organise themselves and conduct targeted strikes at various localities.

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