India to take up Malaysia statement on MK: Pranab

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New Delhi, Nov 30: India is in touch with the Malaysian government regarding alleged harassment of participants of a rally organised by the people of Indian origin in that country and would also take up the issue of certain observations made against DMK leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi by a Malaysian minister, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee assured the Rajya Sabha today.

In a suo-motu statement made in the Rajya Sabha, Mr Mukherjee asserted that the government remained deeply solicitious for the welfare of people of Indian orgin living abroad.

''We have friendly relations with Malaysia and we are in touch with the Malaysian authorities in the related matter. Regarding certain observations made against our respected leader K Karunanidhi, I am in touch with the Malaysian authorities and we will take it up,'' he told the agitated members who had expressed concern regarding the alleged harassment of participants of a rally organised by the Hindu Rights Action Force in Kuala Lumpur on November 25 and subsequent related matters.

Mr Mukherjee said that the stated purpose of the rally was to handover a petition to the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur seeking the support of Queen Elizabeth II for a class action suit filed in the UK for the exploitation of Indians who were brought to Malaysia as indentured labour.

There are a large community of people of Indian origin in Malaysia who are citizens of that country, Mr Mukherjee pointed out.

Earlier, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachauri had assured the agitated members during the Zero hour that the government would take up the issue of ''objectionable'' statement made by a Malaysian Minister against Mr Karunanidhi and the plight of Malaysians of Indian origin with the authorities of that country.

Members cutting across party lines expressed their displeasure over the ''undiplomatic statement'' of the minister regarding a letter written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by Mr Karunanidhi.

The members rallied around Mr Shanmugha Sundaram, DMK after he raised the issue of Mr Nazir Aziz, a Malaysian minister, transgressing his limits by asking Mr Karunanidhi to stop issuing statements on ''Malaysia's internal affairs''.

Many members, including S S Ahluwalia, BJP, Gyanadesikan, Congress and Mangni Lal Mandal joined issue with Mr Sundaram, demanding that the Malaysian High Commissioner be summoned.

UNI

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