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 Indian diplomat arrested in US for visa fraud
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Posted on 12-17-13 11:39 AM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Devyani Khobragade: India-US diplomat row escalates

A bulldozer removes the security barriers in front of the U.S. embassy in New Delhi 17 December 2013
Security barricades were removed from outside the US embassy in Delhi

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India has ordered a series of reprisals against the United States amid a worsening row over the arrest of one of its diplomats in New York.

Security barricades around the US embassy in Delhi have been removed and a visiting US delegation was snubbed.

The diplomat, Devyani Khobragade, was handcuffed upon arrest last week and strip-searched, Indian reports say.

She denies visa fraud and making false statements over allegations that she underpaid her Indian maid.

The maid had complained the diplomat was paying her less than the minimum stipulated under US visa requirements.

What is diplomatic immunity?

  • A form of legal immunity that ensures diplomats are exempt from prosecution under the host country's laws
  • Agreed as international law in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961)
  • Under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963) a consul is afforded a variation of diplomatic immunity called consular immunity
  • It guarantees immunity from the host country's laws only with respect to acts related to consular duties

US officials say standard procedures were followed during the arrest of Ms Khobragade, who appeared in court on Friday and was freed on bail.

Ms Khobragade will challenge her arrest on grounds of diplomatic immunity, her lawyer said.

The US state department said that Ms Khobragade does not have full diplomatic immunity.

It said under the UN's Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, she is immune from arrest only for crimes committed in connection with her work.

'A snub'

India's government has said it is "shocked and appalled" at the manner in which Ms Khobragade, its deputy consul general in New York, was "humiliated" in the US.

On Tuesday, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde called her treatment unacceptable. He cancelled his meeting with the senior US Congressional delegation and his office said he was busy in parliament, but media reports in India described it as a "snub" to the US.

Start Quote

Uttam Khobragade

As a father I feel hurt, our entire family is traumatised”

Uttam Khobragade Diplomat's father

The governing Congress party Vice-President, Rahul Gandhi, and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi also refused to meet the delegations.

"Refused to meet the visiting USA delegation in solidarity with our nation, protesting ill-treatment meted to our lady diplomat in USA," Mr Modi tweeted.

On Monday, the Speaker of India's parliament, Meira Kumar, and National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon had also refused to meet the Congressional officials.

Mr Menon said Ms Khobragade's treatment was "despicable and barbaric".

Reports in India said American diplomats and their families in India will have airport passes withdrawn and duty free arrangements suspended.

One official said US diplomats' gay partners may also be liable to arrest for breaching Indian laws against homosexuality.

Ms Khobragade's father, Uttam, told local media the treatment of his daughter was "absolutely obnoxious".

"As a father I feel hurt, our entire family is traumatised."

Protest against the arrest of Devyani Khobragade outside the US consulate in Hyderabad in India on Monday, Dec 16, 2013 Anger has been rising in India against the alleged ill-treatment of the diplomat

Ms Khobragade, 39, was arrested last Thursday in New York and later freed on a $250,000 (£153,000) bond after pleading not guilty to the charges. Some reports in India said she was arrested while dropping her daughter at school and was handcuffed in public.

Latest media reports said she had been "subjected to a humiliating strip search and kept in a cell with drug addicts".

Law enforcement authorities in New York say Ms Khobragade "allegedly caused a materially false and fraudulent document to be presented, and materially false and fraudulent statements to be made, to the US Department of State in support of a visa application for an Indian national employed as a babysitter and housekeeper at her home in New York".

State department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters at a news conference on Monday: "Diplomatic security, which is under the state department purview, followed standard procedures during her arrest."

If found guilty, Ms Khobragade faces a maximum sentence of 10 years for visa fraud and five years for making false statements.

Posted on 12-17-13 12:33 PM     [Snapshot: 108]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Funny - So much outrage on the treatment of an "indian national" yet none whatsoever for the "indian maid"
Posted on 12-17-13 2:01 PM     [Snapshot: 227]     Reply [Subscribe]
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haha how funny ..even the  indian government thinks a diplomat from india can do what so ever and they 've all diplomatic immunity and are not trying to find out the truth but they are saying it's ' humilation ' to india .How different is the mind set right there .
Posted on 01-09-14 4:04 PM     [Snapshot: 1066]     Reply [Subscribe]
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-- [Breaking news alert, 4:43 p.m. ET]

Two senior U.S. officials say Devyani Khobragade, India's deputy consul general in New York, has not yet left the United States but should be leaving today. She was granted diplomatic immunity, the officials said on condition of anonymity. Earlier, the U.S. Attorney's Office said she had already left the country.

[Original story published at 8:56 a.m. ET]

India to U.S.: Shut down 'commercial activities' at embassy bowling alley, gym

In the latest squabble over its diplomat's arrest, India ordered the United States to shut down "commercial activities" at a recreational facility at the American Embassy in New Delhi.

The U.S. Embassy should halt the activities at the property by January 16, an Indian external affairs official said Thursday. The property houses a bowling alley, swimming pool and gym.

The multipurpose club in the embassy compound was used by nondiplomats, Indian officials said, accusing the U.S. of contravening an article of the Vienna Convention.

Tensions have escalated between New Delhi and Washington over the treatment of an Indian diplomat arrested in New York last month.

India-U.S. relations tense after arrest
U.S. 'regrets' diplomat's strip search
Arrest sparks diplomatic feud

U.S. law enforcement officials strip-searched Devyani Khobragade, the country's deputy consul general in New York, after her arrest. She faces charges of fraud and making false statements on a visa application for her former housekeeper.

India has expressed outrage about the arrest. It demanded that the United States apologize and drop the charges against Khobragade, whose lawyer says she is not guilty and is entitled to diplomatic immunity.

Khobragade's father defended her.

U.S. energy secretary's trip to India postponed amid tensions over diplomat

"The charges against her are atrocious and the treatment meted out to her inhuman," Uttam Khobragade said Thursday.

He also supported India's order to the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi to shut down what it said were commercial activities on the mission's premises.

"I fully support whatever the Indian government is doing," he said.

Secretary of State John Kerry expressed "regret" about the situation last month but stopped short of saying the United States had done anything wrong.

Amid the uproar, Indian authorities removed concrete barriers from outside the U.S. Embassy and took away American diplomats' identification cards.

U.S. officials say there are no plans to drop the case. Khobragade is accused of paying her former housekeeper, Sangeeta Richard, a fraction of the amount promised in the visa application and telling her to keep quiet about the situation.

Khobragade is entitled to consular immunity, U.S. officials have said, which is less broad than diplomatic immunity and covers only actions carried out under official duties.

As the diplomatic fallout deepens, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz delayed a trip to India that had been planned for next week.

"We have been in conversation with Indian counterparts about the dates, and we have agreed to hold the dialogue in the near future at a mutually convenient date," an Energy Department official said.

Human rights activists say India's anger about the strip search misses the bigger issue. They say the mistreatment of domestic workers is a widespread and often overlooked problem worldwide.

Officials from both nations have repeatedly said that they hope the issue does not undermine their relations.

Posted on 01-09-14 6:36 PM     [Snapshot: 1242]     Reply [Subscribe]
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dhoti ko nakhara, paisa auncha bhane strip dance garna pachi naparne lai strip surch le ke bo ta?

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