The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dakar hand in envoy recall

New Delhi, June 30: The recall of the Senegalís ambassador in India, Ahmed el Mansoor Diop, may have had to do with more than the murder charge brought against his son.

Diopís running battle over policies with a key aide of the Senegalese President appears to have played a crucial role in the recall.

Diop, who was the dean of the diplomatic corps in India as he was the longest serving diplomat here, and his family left for Dakar on Saturday.

South Block had sought Diopís recall after his son, Mansoor Ali, got involved in a controversy over allegedly killing his Indian driver last month.

Though Diopís exit ended weeks of speculation over his fate, he left behind an undated statement claiming his son was innocent.

Assane Ba, a key adviser to President Abdoulaye Wade, had run into serious problems with Diop. Ba, also chief of the Indo-Senegalese task force and reportedly Wadeís prospective son-in-law, often found his suggestions ignored by Diop.

In the past, Wade and his supporters had unsuccessfully tried to replace Diop in Delhi. But the ambassadorís relations with an important religious family in Senegal silenced his detractors, ensuring his long stay in Delhi.

Ba may have finally found the opportunity to remove Diop when Ali got into an argument with his driver, Dilawar, on May 24 outside a five-star hotel after celebrating Africa Day.

Ali refused to be driven home by Dilawar, who was said to be drunk. In the resultant altercation, Ali allegedly pushed Dilawar, who fell and hit his head on a hard object. Hours later, he was declared dead in a city hospital.

Delhi police registered a case of ďculpable homicide not amounting to murderĒ against Ali. But he could not be interrogated as he enjoyed diplomatic immunity.

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