The discovery of a ‘months-long’ affair between a Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) employee posted in Beijing and a Chinese national also employed in the Indian Embassy in Beijing has set alarm bells ringing. The incident has raised questions on whether adequate systems are in place to ensure ‘inappropriate’ relations do not compromise sensitive information in India’s missions. The MEA employee in question was quietly put on a plane and sent back to India some time in October, sources told Mail Today. The decision to send him back was taken by then Ambassador Ashok Kantha, who retired on January 7, after it was discovered that the official, Raj Kumar, who was working as a level-four employee of the MEA’s multi-tasking staff, had been quietly carrying on an affair with a Chinese woman. The woman was also employed by the mission among its local staff, and it is understood her service has also been curtailed. Most of the local staff at the embassy are hired through Chinese agencies, and diplomats generally assume that at least some Chinese staff may have ties with the Chinese security agencies who may vet their hiring. When contacted, MEA officials said they would not want to comment on the matter.
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