|Devyani Khobragade (Pic: NDTV)|
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
India transfers diplomat to UN to entitle her to full diplomatic immunity
English news channel NDTV reports India wants Khobragade’s case to be moved from criminal to civil as it feels the alleged visa fraud amounts to a civil breach of contract and not to a human trafficking charge.
NEW DELHI (AA) - Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, who was arrested, strip-searched and put in cell with drug addicts on December 12 on charges of visa fraud and underpaying her maid, has been transferred to India's permanent mission at UN in New York where she can apply for full diplomatic immunity. The US State Department has to issue a new identity card that would giver her this immunity.
Sources told Anadolu Agency that this move is aimed to protect the Indian diplomat from any “legal” hurdle in United States.
The development comes after the diplomat’s arrest and the alleged ill-treatment meted out to her in custody in New York outraged Indian Parliament on Wednesday.
The diplomat was later released on Thursday evening on a bail bond of $250,000.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh termed the the behaviour of US authorities towards the diplomat as “deplorable”.
“This is deplorable,” Singh told reporters outside the parliament when asked to comment on the alleged ill-treatment.
The government asserted in Parliament that India will take “strong steps” to ensure the “return” of 39-year old diplomat.
India's Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid condemned the US action and assured the Parliament that he will not return to the Parliament if he fails in his responsibility to bring back the diplomat, the deputy consul general.
“It is my responsibility. We will bring back the diplomat and restore her dignity. If I fail to do it, I will not return to this House,” Khurshid said in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian parliament.
Khurshid alleged there was a “conspiracy” in which the diplomat was “virtually trapped”.
Khurshid made statements in both the houses of parliament after members demanded that a resolution be passed to condemn the US action.
Mulayam Singh Yadav, head of regional Samajwadi Party said in lower house of parliament that India should retaliate in kind over the arrest of the diplomat.“Give a strong warning to America. Their people should be stripped naked too. Make them apologise,” Mr Yadav said.
Anadolu Agency, December 18, 2013