25 Aug, 2006 PTI
NEW DELHI: Twelve Indians arrested in bizarre circumstances in mid-air on a US airliner and then questioned for two days at Amsterdam were headed for Mumbai on Friday amidst a diplomatic row between India and the Netherlands over their treatment.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) summoned the Dutch ambassador in New Delhi and lodged a strong protest at the way the incident was handled.
Ambassador Eric Niehe was summoned by Secretary (West) Shashi U Tripathi and told that the way the 12 men were treated was "not in conformity with the friendly relations" between the two countries.
"We have taken strong notice of this development. It is not only unfortunate, it should have never happened," Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said.
He said the Dutch government has expressed regret over the incident.
"We lodged a strong protest at the way the incident was handled," MEA spokesman Navtej Sarna told reporters after Niehe was called to the ministry.
New Delhi asked for complete details about the incident from the Dutch government. Niehe promised to get the details from The Hague and revert.
The Government is particularly peeved at the treatment meted out to the 12 men, detained for "flight disruption" while travelling by a Northwest Airlines flight from Minneapolis in the US to Mumbai via Amsterdam on Wednesday.
Sarna said the "manner of treatment" of the Indians was "objectionable".