The Indian government has slammed Wikileaks founder Jullian Assange's claim that the country failed to respond to his asylum pleas.
In a recent interview, Assange, who has been holed up in London's Ecuadorian embassy since 2012, revealed that India had turned a deaf ear to his request at a time when he most needed shelter.
However, rebutting his asylum claim, Press Trust of India (PTI) quoted a top government source saying, "We have checked our records and we cannot find any reference to Julian Assange seeking asylum. I don't know, whether he did it through social media or what? Certainly he has not made any request that we are aware of."
The statement was in reply to Julian Assange direct accusation: "I was disappointed and saddened that India, known for upholding human rights, never got back despite several requests by me for asylum. Indians are also great supporters of WikiLeaks. I therefore contacted the foreign office through the Indian high commissioner. I wrote to them but they never responded."
The Australian was speaking in context of US' Nation Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, who leaked classified US surveillance programs to a few media organisations. Assange in the interview requested India to provide Snowden shelter.
"It was because of Snowden that India came to know how US was snooping on them. It is an obligation for India to protect Snowden. India is a super power and does not have to fear other nations. Now is the time for India to show it stands up for human rights," he said.
Assange added that there existed several such surveillance programs but the PRISM surveillance carried out by the US government was most effective.
Addressing the 19th International Symposium on Electronic Art via video conference on Thursday, The Guardian reported Assange as saying, "Edward Snowden revealed something that I've been speaking about for a long time, providing clear concrete proof that the internet has penetrated every aspect of society, right along with it is mass surveillance."
"Right along with it is mass surveillance - mass surveillance by the National Security Agency of the US, working in co-operation with its partners and other countries trying to do the same thing, although not nearly as effectively."
In the wake of the controversial leak, US President Barack Obama created furore as he defended the NSA's role in tracking electronic data of six billion people. "You cannot have 100% security with 100% privacy. Some sacrifices have to be made," he said.
Snowden's leak has put into scanner major biggies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft which had aided the US government to snoop into people's privacy giving access to their personal information.