Indian diplomat’s father says New York arrest ‘barbaric’

 

Indian diplomat’s father says New York arrest ‘barbaric’

Devyani Khobragade was charged last week with making false statements and visa fraud.

By (AP)

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Published: Tue 17 Dec 2013, 3:02 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 3:22 PM

Devyani KhobragadeImage courtesy Devyani Khobragade's Facebook page

The father of an Indian diplomat who was arrested in New York City on visa fraud charges said on Tuesday that his daughter’s treatment in the US was “barbaric”, in a case that threatens to transform into a serious diplomatic dispute between the countries.

Devyani Khobragade, India’s deputy consul general in New York, was charged last week with making false statements and visa fraud. Prosecutors in New York say that Khobragade claimed she paid her Indian maid $4,500 per month but that she actually paid her below the minimum wage.

Her father, Uttam Khobragade, said on Tuesday that his daughter was not a criminal and that her treatment was “barbaric”. He spoke after Indian media reports said his daughter had been strip-searched and kept with drug addicts after her arrest.

The Indian government reacted to the news of Khobragade’s arrest with outrage and said it was “shocked and appalled at the manner in which the diplomat had been humiliated” in the US.

The 39-year-old diplomat was arrested on Thursday while dropping her daughter off at school. She pleaded not guilty and was freed on $250,000 bail.

Khobragade’s lawyer told a magistrate judge last week that his client would challenge the arrest on grounds of diplomatic immunity.

Indian officials said the government was considering the next steps it will take to quickly resolve the matter.

Meanwhile, top Indian politicians have snubbed a visiting US Congressional delegation over Khobragade’s arrest.

India’s opposition candidate for prime minister, Narendra Modi, said he had “refused” to meet with the US visitors.

“Refused to meet the visiting USA delegation in solidarity with our nation, protesting ill-treatment meted to our lady diplomat in USA,” he said in a tweet.

The speaker of India’s lower house of Parliament also called off a meeting with the US group scheduled for Monday, her office said.



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