Home / Devyani Khobragade Controversy Continues Following Arrest of Indian Diplomat in New York

Devyani Khobragade Controversy Continues Following Arrest of Indian Diplomat in New York

The arrest and strip search of  Indian diplomat, Devyani Khobragade in New York City escalated into a major diplomatic furor Tuesday as India’s national security adviser called the woman’s treatment “despicable and barbaric.”

Devyani Khobragade said U.S. authorities subjected her to a strip search, cavity search and DNA swabbing following her arrest on visa charges in New York City, despite her “incessant assertions of immunity.”

Devyani Khobragade

Devyani Khobragade image from the Associated Press.

Devyani Khobragade, India’s deputy consul general in New York, is accused of submitting false documents to obtain a work visa for her Manhattan housekeeper. Indian officials said she was arrested and handcuffed Thursday as she dropped off her daughter at school, and was kept in a cell with drug addicts before posting $250,000 bail.

Ms Khobragade has been widely criticized for allegedly paying her housekeeper a salary of $3.31 an hour, well below U.S. minimum wage.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described the diplomat’s treatment as “deplorable.”

The case has sparked widespread outrage in India and infuriated the government, which revoked privileges for U.S. diplomats to protest her treatment. It has cast a pall over India-U.S. relations, which have cooled in recent years despite a 2008 nuclear deal that was hailed as a high point in the nations’ ties.

Devyani Khobragade, India’s deputy consul general in New York, was arrested Thursday outside of her daughter’s Manhattan school on charges that she lied on a visa application about how much she paid her housekeeper, an Indian national.

In an email published in India media on Wednesday, Khobragade said she was treated like a common criminal.

The Indian diplomat released a statement saying, “I broke down many times as the indignities of repeated handcuffing, stripping and cavity searches, swabbing, in a holdup with common criminals and drug addicts were all being imposed upon me despite my incessant assertions of immunity,’ she wrote. ‘I got the strength to regain composure and remain dignified thinking that I must represent all of my colleagues and my country with confidence and pride.”

Devyani Khobragade has now been transferred to her country’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations – ensuring her complete immunity from US prosecution.

Devyani Khobragade Controversy Continues Following Arrest of Indian Diplomat in New York.

 

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  • http://newsviews-raceclass.blogspot.com/ Dr S Deman BSc MA MPhil PhD

    People often failed to distinguish between diplomatic immunity to Diplomatic staff v counsellor staff I agree that Devyani should not have subjected to such degrading treatment. In other countries like UK police is requires to notify the concerned Embassy/consulate before arresting an citizen.

    However, one should not forget that the same people who are complaining now when as an
    Indian citizen I approached the Indian consulate in Washington DC in 1988 regarding a draconian decision following a complain of racial discrimination and harassment which might have resulted in deportation, telling response of a Prof Mathur, Education Minister in US Embassy (during TN Kaul’s regime)was, “Our job is to build relations not destroy them”, meaning thereby we can’t help. Latter Prof Mathur asked me how could he get his nephew a
    scholarship I US. I told him that he should join my employer in harassing me.

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