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India retaliates against US diplomats over 'unacceptable' NY consular arrest   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2013-12-18 17:17:23 |Display all floors
Outraged by the “humiliating” detention and strip search of a female Indian deputy consul in New York last week, New Delhi has ordered a series of retaliatory measures against the US diplomatic corps in India.
                  The Indian government had taken measures in response to the  arrest, with foreign minister Salman Khurshid calling the  treatment of Devyani Khobragade “completely  unacceptable.”
  “We have put in motion what we believe would be effective  ways of addressing the issue but also in motion such steps that  need to be taken to protect her dignity,” Khurshid told  reporters in New Delhi.  

  “We have ordered the withdrawal of all ID cards that are issued  by the Ministry of External Affairs to the officials at the US  consulates across India,”
a senior ministry source told AFP  on condition of anonymity.  

  In addition, local media reports that the government is also  considering imposing a ban on import clearances for the American  diplomats as well as canceling airport clearances for US  officials in India.

Authorities are also requesting salary information of Indian  staff in US missions across the country as well as visa details  of teachers employed in consulate-run schools, the Hindu reports.  

  On Tuesday police removed all security concrete barricades  outside the US embassy and consulates that provided an extra  layer of protection on public land for American diplomatic  premises. The police and government employees did not officially  comment on why the barricades were taken away.

The government’s reprisal measures were supported by the  Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), that called on the authorities to  “match each and every step of the US, to take serious action  in this matter to establish Indian sovereignty and prestige of  its diplomatic community,’’ the Hindu Times quotes.  

  The US actions do “not accord to the level of friendship that  the Indian government claims to have with the US,’’ BJP  leader Ravishankar Prasad said.  

“The media has reported that we have issued visas to a number  of US diplomats' companions. Companions means that they are of  the same sex. Now, after the Supreme Court ruling (on gay sex),  it is completely illegal in our country. Just as paying fewer  wage was illegal in the US. So, why doesn't the Government of  India go ahead and arrest all of them! Put them behind bars,  prosecute them in this country and punish them?" Prasad was  quoted by local channels.

“If they are downgrading what we are entitled to as  diplomats, they will also get the same treatment. This way we  will both be going strictly by the rules,’’ another Indian  diplomat told the Hindu Times.  

  The scandal is also resonating at the top political level. On  Tuesday, the country’s Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde  cancelled his meeting with a senior US Congressional delegation  calling the treatment of the arrested diplomat unacceptable.  

  Vice-President, Rahul Gandhi, and BJP prime ministerial candidate  Narendra Modi also cancelled the meeting with American  representatives.

  On Monday Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and National Security  Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon also refused to meet the US team, with  Menon describing Khobragade's treatment as “despicable and  barbaric.”
  India's deputy consul general in the US, 39-year-old Devyani  Khobragade, was arrested on Thursday while dropping her daughter  to school. She was handcuffed in public. Later, local tabloids  read that she was “subjected to a humiliating strip search and  kept in a cell with drug addicts.”  

  The US Marshals Service confirmed Tuesday that she had been  subject to strip-search.  

“Yes, Devyani Khobragade was subject to the same search  procedures as other USMS arrestees held within the general  prisoner population in the Southern District of New York,”  the statement said, as cited by MSN.

  A US court has released the diplomat on a $250,000 bail. The next  hearing has been set for January 13. On Friday, New Dehli called  in the US ambassador to protest against such treatment.  

  Khobragade is accused of falsifying a visa application for an  Indian national who was employed by her from November 2012 to  June 2013 allegedly for less than four dollars an hour, an  offence which carries maximum sentences of 10 years in prison.  

  On Tuesday, US State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf  said Washington was reviewing the incident “to ensure that all  appropriate procedures were followed and every opportunity for  courtesy was extended.”  

“The United States and India enjoy a broad and deep  friendship, and this isolated episode is not indicative of the  close and mutually respectful ties we share,” she said in a  statement.
  A day earlier Harf noted that US authorities “followed  standard procedures” during the arrest claiming that  Khobragade did not have full diplomatic immunity as it only  applies to duties performed as a consular official.

The father of the diplomat, Uttam Khobragade, claimed that the  Indian government supports Devyanmet after he met with the Union  Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Tuesday.  

  “The home minister has said the government is answerable for her  security and liberty. The whole government is supporting us and  that she was on duty, and hasn’t committed any crime. What  happened was absolutely atrocious. She is liable for diplomatic  immunity,”
Khobragade was quoted by as saying.  

  “The government will try to get the charges against her dropped.  He also assured us that no harm will be done to her,”
he  added.

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Post time 2013-12-18 22:08:26 |Display all floors
I think the only ones really outraged will be the Indian politicians and diplomats
the average Indian wont be happy their diplomats are exploiting them , not only in India but overseas as well.
One Indian feels violated while another seeks freedom from exploitation.

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Post time 2013-12-18 22:30:14 |Display all floors
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Post time 2013-12-18 23:03:54 |Display all floors
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Post time 2013-12-18 23:04:16 |Display all floors
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Post time 2013-12-19 02:37:54 |Display all floors
What the consulate women did was wrong. However the way the US agents acted against a person who has diplomatic immunity like handcuffing near the school and placing her with general inmates shows US lack of respect for other nations. I remember the US CIA agent who was an embassy person was let off for killing 2 pakistani civilians in Pakistan. Double standards ?

Moreover, I suspect that the Indian maid should have agreed to the deal before the job and how could she morally violate her own agreement with her employer.

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Post time 2013-12-19 02:55:11 |Display all floors
As per the American laws the Indian Diplomat Devyani Khobragade was supposed to pay the minimum wage of $4500 a month to the Housekeeper whom she hired. The diplomat's own salary is $4120 per month. So, as per US laws, she is supposed to pay her housekeeper more than she earns

Just 2 days before the arrest, the Maid whose visa has expired had went will all her family to NY and had been absconding since then. This sounds like a extortion racket to me. And the US govt. says it has no information about the absconding maid.

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