India police lodge case against Israeli diplomats over scuffle

India police lodge case against Israeli diplomats over scuffle
The check-in counter area of the Indira Gandhi International Airport’s Terminal 3 in New Delhi.

NEW DELHI - Indian police have lodged a criminal case against three Israeli diplomats for allegedly abusing and injuring an airport immigration official, despite them enjoying diplomatic immunity, an officer said Monday.

A scuffle broke out late Saturday when the consular officials were clearing immigration at New Delhi airport to catch a flight to Kathmandu, the police deputy commissioner in charge of airport security said.

"They kept on arguing with the Indian official at the immigration assistance counter. Once their papers were cleared, they verbally abused the official and when he objected, they pounced on him," M. I. Haider told AFP.

According to local media reports, the diplomats were angry over delays in clearing immigration.

The trio were not arrested over the incident since they have diplomatic immunity but police have proceeded with a case against them. CCTV footage of the incident would be used to assist the case, he added.

Police were obliged to proceed with their investigation despite the diplomatic immunity, with the case to be handed to India's foreign ministry before any formal charges are laid, Haider said.

"As per law, we have registered the case. It is for the foreign ministry to follow diplomatic rules and formalities. They can take a call on it."

A foreign ministry spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

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