Father threatens ‘fast unto death’,hits back at Bharara

Uttam Khobragade said it appears the case against his daughter has been fabricated.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: December 20, 2013 1:39:36 am

Uttam Khobragade,father of diplomat Devyani,said Thursday he would fast unto death unless all the charges slapped against her are withdrawn. Talking again about a “conspiracy” against his daughter,he told reporters he will appeal to Sonia Gandhi,the President and the Prime Minister to take steps to ensure the charges are dropped.

He told reporters Attorney Preet Bharara’s statement that India was trying to silence Sangeeta Richard and her family amounts to contempt of the Indian judiciary. “Preet Bharara’s statement is dangerous. He attacked the Indian judiciary by saying that India is trying to silence Sangeeta. The Government of India and the court should take cognisance of this. Is he saying Indian citizens are not getting justice in India? Clearly,this is not a legal case anymore. It is a political case and has to be dealt with politically. The Prime Minister should tell US authorities enough is enough,” he said.

Khobragade said it appears the case against his daughter has been fabricated. “Sangeeta’s visa application asked for her employer’s salary. That is where she entered Devyani’s salary. But the US authorities mistook that for the salary to be paid to Sangeeta,and charged Devyani with giving false information. Any reasonable person having common sense will realise that the complaint is fabricated,” he said.

Khobragade also added that as per the US Embassy’s website,the person who signs the visa application form is responsible for the information provided in it. “By that logic,Sangeeta is responsible,not Devyani. Sangeeta only used Devyani’s computer to fill out the application form,” he said.

He said Sangeeta’s parents-in-law worked for the US Embassy in Delhi. “We came to know only yesterday that they work for the embassy as driver and nanny. This makes it even more indicative of the fact that this was Sangeeta’s bid to gain permanent citizenship of the US,” he said.

“In October,on the Government of India’s advice,Devyani filed a case in the Delhi High Court for an injunction (to restrain Sangeeta from filing cases against Devyani in the US),” he said. He said India wrote to the US informing them about the injunction and asking them to arrest Sangeeta,and alleged this proved the trigger for his daughter’s arrest.

“It clearly seems like US authorities were miffed with the Indian government and arrested my daughter in a bid to get back at India. How can you otherwise explain the fact that Sangeeta’s family was flown on a special visa into the US just two days before Devyani’s arrest?”

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