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Newsline: Russian ambassador, Indian politician spar over oligarch’s death

Russia’s top diplomat in New Delhi traded barbs with a senior Indian politician on Twitter late on Thursday over the death of a Russian tycoon once reportedly critical of the Ukraine war, in a rare public spat involving Moscow and a country it views as a friend. Pavel Antov, a billionaire sausage magnate, was found dead outside his hotel in the eastern Indian state of Odisha last weekend. Indian police are investigating the death, which followed two days after another person travelling with Antov died. On Thursday, Manish Tewari, a former Indian minister belonging to the opposition Indian National Congress party questioned why the bodies of the two men had been cremated when they were Christians. “Hercule Poirot says burnt bodies tell no tales,” he wrote on Twitter, referring to Agatha Christie’s famous fictional Belgian detective. Russian ambassador to India Denis Alipov was quick to respond, also on the social media platform. The diplomat thanked Indian officials for the probe into the deaths, but then hit out at Tiwari. “Meanwhile it would be useful for some Hercule Poirot lovers to learn that cremation in Russia is as customary as burial,” he wrote. “Idleness is the root of all evil.” (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/12/30/russian-diplomat-indian-politician-spar-over-oligarchs-death) Tewari later tweeted back, seemingly unconvinced. Meanwhile, the Indian ministry of external affairs said on Thursday it would let the police carry out their investigations and did not want to “jump the gun” on possible causes for Antov’s death.

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