India protests detention; summons Dutch envoy
New Delhi, Aug 25: India today summoned the Dutch Ambassador in New Delhi, taking strong notice of the detention of 12 Indian nationals by Dutch Police following a mid-air 'terror' drama on board a US airliner coming from Amsterdam to Mumbai on Wednesday.
Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma told reporters that India had taken strong notice of the incident and had asked its Mission for a detailed report of the entire incident.
He lauded the efforts of the Indian Mission and Indian officials in Amsterdam saying they had secured the release of the Indian nationals within 30 hours whereas according to the Vienna Convention, they could have been released only after 72 hours.
''They have been released and no charges have been pressed against them. We are relieved at the developments.
Our Missaion and officials have worked day in and day out for their release,'' the Minister said.
He said the government would also get a de-briefing from the passengers to ascertain what had happened.
The 12 Indians were detained for questioning by the Dutch Police after they behaved suspiciously on a US Northwest Airlines flight No NW0042 which was carrying 149 passengers and was bound for India. The passengers were exchanging mobile phones which made the crew and the Marshals suspicious.
It was forced to return to Amsterdam's Schiphol airport following the terror alert.
Two Dutch fighter jets escorted the plane back to Schiphol after it entered Dutch airspace. After the plane landed, the 12 people were detained for questioning.