India reacted angrily at the "brazenness" shown by proclaimed offender Vijay Mallya on Saturday when he joined a book launch event at the London School of Economics. It is interesting to note that the event was also attended by Indian high commissioner Navtej Sarna, who walked out mid-way.
It is learned that the government may raise the issue with the David Cameron government Mallya's apparent attempt to embarrass its representatives in London. The event at LSE was held on Thursday evening to launch Suhel Seth's book on 21 Indian CEOs titled Mantras for Success.
"Why should the Indian high commissioner have to leave such an event? It should be Mallya doing so. He has taken to embarrassing India with his brazenness, which calls into question Britain's action or inaction to respond to India's requests to bring him to justice," a senior representative said.
She added: "It also calls into question the nationalism of Indian circles who invite a proclaimed offender to events. High commission officials are doing their job representing India, but is it only their duty to do so."
There were reports that New Delhi will soon take up Mallya-related issues strongly with the Cameron government. Previously, Britain was advised by India to consider initiating extradition proceedings against Mallya and not seek his deportation.
Mallya attended the event with his daughter and sat through most of the session. The event was organised by the 100 Foot Journey Club, a joint initiative of the LSE South Asia Centre and the Indian high commission. Sarna was on the dais with universities minister Jo Johnson, Seth and LSE academic Mukulika Banerjee. When Sarna spotted Mallya he left the LSE's Old Theatre venue in Aldwych immediately.
Mallya was later spotted exchanging pleasantries with Seth and some members of the audience before leaving.