Monday, Sep 15, 2014

Khobragade episode not closed: Foreign Secy

A 1999-batch IFS officer, Khobragade was arrested in New York on December 12, 2013. (PTI) Devyani Khobragade. (PTI)
Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Posted: April 7, 2014 12:40 am

Ignoring the US viewpoint, India has refused to consider the Devyani Khobragade episode as “closed”, saying there are “residual” issues which need to be addressed.

Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh said India has made its expectations clear to the US on the issue and hoped that it will be resolved.

“There are residual issues,” she told PTI in an interview when asked whether the Khobragade episode was a closed chapter as was being treated by the US. However, she refused to elaborate further on what steps were needed from the US to satisfy India.

Singh said the US interlocutors were conveyed India’s expectations on the issue and expressed unhappiness over the filing of second indictment against Khobragade on charges of visa fraud. “We would have preferred that it (second indictment) did not happen,” she said.

A 1999-batch IFS officer, Khobragade was arrested in New York on December 12 last and was strip-searched, triggering a row between the two countries with India retaliating by downgrading privileges of certain category of US diplomats among other steps. Khobragade was released on a $250,000 bond and was later granted full diplomatic immunity following which she flew back to India on January 10. She has since been transferred to the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi.

Though, the first indictment against her was rejected by a US Court, prosecutors last month re-indicted her on visa fraud charges and accused the diplomat of “illegally” underpaying and “exploiting” her domestic maid.

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