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Indian court drops charge against NYPD officer

NEW DELHI (AP) — A court in India's capital has dropped a weapons charge against a New York City police officer and is allowing him to leave the country, his lawyer said Saturday.

Officer Manny Encarnacion was arrested in March while visiting his wife in New Delhi after Indian airport authorities discovered three bullets he had accidentally packed in his luggage. He had been out on bail since his arrest, but was barred from leaving India until the case was resolved.

Before leaving for India, Encarnacion went to a police firing range and put the bullets in a coat pocket, according to New York City police. He packed the coat for the trip, forgetting that the ammunition was there, the police said.

Encarnacion, 49, joined the NYPD in 2004 and is assigned to a precinct in Harlem. His lawyer, Samarjit Pattnaik, said the court heard the case Friday. "All charges against the officer were quashed," he said.

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch said, "We are pleased that police officer Encarnacion's unfortunate ordeal has been resolved and that he'll soon be returning home." Encarnacion's arrest took place months after a diplomatic spat between the United States and India over the arrest and strip search of an Indian consular official for alleged visa fraud in New York. But Indian authorities say Encarnacion's arrest had nothing to do with the spat.

Pattnaik said he would approach the court early next week to get Encarnacion's passport released, and that the officer should be set to leave the country by the end of next week.

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