New York – Having been very troubled by NYPD Officer Manny Encarnacion’s arrest and being charged in India for his 3-bullets in his checked luggage, soon after Deputy Consul General Devyani Khobragade ill-advised and unnecessary affair, I heard our senior Senator Chuck Schumer and plain-speaking NY Rep. Peter King lambast India for being angry and wrong as a call to action. Mayor de Blasio, a strong friend of diversity and good cops, also spoke of being “troubled.”
After all, as an American of Indian ancestry, it’s incumbent to speak up if India’s act appears excessive or wrong – even more so, when, as a lawyer, I’m representing the Indian National Congress and Sonia Gandhi in federal courts in the United States and have represented Indian diplomats and families before. That I love law enforcement and am pro bono counsel to the NYC retired cops’ 1013 National Organization was the clinching moral imperative.
So, aside for speaking to folks here, including, Rep. Eliot Engel, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Greg Meeks, Rep. Grace Meng and Anthony V. Perrone, and in India, including, her foreign minister Salman Khurshid. I spoke with India’s Permanent Representative Asoke Mukerji, and Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay, who works through Washington, DC based Ambasador Jaishankar. I even spoke with India’s prior PR Hardeep Singh Puri, who had presided over the UN Security Council. Naturally, I discussed with state Senator Adriano Espaillat, the highest ranking Dominican-American elected official, who wanted to help in getting Manny released in India. We even discussed a Cityhall Steps Rally, with all elected officials and NYPD to request India, as a friend, to “Free Manny Now.”
Permanent Representative Mukerji took stock of NYPD’s help to India after the Mumbai Terror attack, and that in New York, NYPD is near-sacred or a “holy cow” after our 9/11, beyond the bilateral relationship. And in Oak Creek, police lieutenant Brian Murphy took 12 shots while defending American Sikhs praying in a Gurdwara, and hence, American law enforcement deserves most favored status – it’s a debt of honor.
Now, when on May 24, 2014, the Indian Court quashed all criminal charges Manny became free to leave India.
So, it’s time to celebrate and say “Thank you.” Thank you Secretary John Kerry for superb diplomacy in calming troubled waters, and a huge “Thank you” to India and all her diplomats who acted compassionately to prevent an injustice. India has shown mature wisdom and re-embraced warmth-based friendship with the United States, a wonderful reset after the Devyani-hiccup of perhaps the most important bilateral relationship of the 21st Century, given Russia and China’s lovefest post-Crimea.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi now gets a well-deserved red carpet for bilateral relations between US and India with Manny’s release, and now every NYC cop knows that India sees them as a friend.
I hope that Mayor de Blasio and Indian Diplomats will celebrate Manny’s return to NYC, with their own events, that celebrate the natural warm ties between United States and India with Manny as Exhibit A.