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Russia objects to citizen’s arrest in India

New Delhi, July 6 (Calcutta Tube) Russia has strongly objected to India over the detention of a Russian woman, Olga Timoshik, by Punjab Police for allegedly helping a suspected German spy.

Informed sources said a note sent by the Russian embassy to the ministry of external affairs alleged that the ‘police have been holding Timoshik in custody for more than 12 days without presenting any evidence against her’.

Citing excerpts from the note, the sources said the situation surrounding Timoshik’s arrest was ‘generating a response detrimental to India’s image as a friendly nation among Russians’.

‘As there is no evidence against her, the embassy believes there is no legal basis whatsoever in keeping her under police or judicial custody,’ the note says.

It has asked the ministry to take immediate action to ‘amend the situation as it clearly violates the legitimate and universally recognized human rights of Timoshik’.

The Russian was arrested June 28 from Jaipur and has been in police remand in Punjab’s Ropar district.

Police claimed she was a ‘close aide’ of suspected German spy Thomas Kuhn, who was arrested in May after he was found living in India without a visa and passport.

Kuhn, in his interrogation, told police that Timoshik had taken his passport to get his visa extended. The police tracked the woman in Jaipur.

According to Timoshik’s lawyer, she has admitted to knowing Kuhn.

After getting his visa extended in Bangalore, Timoshik returned Kuhn’s passport through an Australian citizen.

Two embassy officials were sent for consular assistance to Timoshik last week.

The note raises certain points alleging that legal rights were not read out to Timoshik when she was arrested.

Among other points raised, are:

– No original arrest warrant was presented at the time of the arrest

– Police are using remand extensions trying to pressurize her into confessing uncommitted crimes

– The accused suffers from bronchial asthma and her stay in a wet and dark remand cell was expressly harmful to her health

– She has been repeatedly forced to sign random false statements which she has refused to do.

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