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Govt says MEA official Patnaik's transfer from London is 'routine'


New Delhi, The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has dismissed reports in a section of media that Indian Deputy High Commissioner to London Dinesh Patnaik has been recalled on orders of the Prime Minister's office. "We have seen news reports regarding the transfer of Dinesh Patnaik India's Deputy High Commissioner to the UK back to Delhi. Patnaik was transferred back to Headquarters as part of a routine administrative decision," said an official. Sources also indicate that Mr Patnaik, who was once embroiled in a controversy during his stint in Beijing, may be given his new assignment soon. The source said, "Any suggestion to the contrary (on Patnaik's recall from London) is completely false and baseless". There were media reports that Mr Patnaik was called back to the MEA headquarters in the capital after it was found that he was allegedly 'responsible' for the presence of the Hinduja brothers on the front row at an event attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to London in April. Officials in the Ministry of External Affairs, however, say that it is only a 'regular transfer' and should not be seen as 'removal'. A 1990-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, Mr Patnaik has served as First Secretary in Beijing from 2000 to 2002.He has also served as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Vienna and Indian envoy to Cambodia, among other assignments.

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