New Indian Envoy Seeks Withdrawal Of Charges Against Diplomat

Friday, 27 December 2013, 12:03 Hrs   |    1 Comments
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Washington: India's new envoy S Jaishankar today met top U.S. officials and sought withdrawal of charges against Devyani Khobargade even as the State Department said it was looking into the issue of full diplomatic immunity said to have been enjoyed by the diplomat at the time of her arrest.

Jaishankar, who conveyed India's strong protest over the arrest of Khobargade, also strongly objected to the manner in which the U.S. government evacuated Indian citizens.

Immediately after presenting copies of his credentials to the Office of Chief of Protocol, he met the Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman and Under Secretary for Management Patrick F Kennedy of the State Department.

Both the meetings were dominated by the issue of the arrest in New York early this month of 39-year-old Khobragade, who was the Deputy Consul General in New York. She was later transferred to the United Nations in a bid to give her full diplomatic immunity.

During the meeting, Jaishankar is believed to have sought withdrawal of the charges, and strongly objected to the manner in which the U.S. government evacuated Indian citizens -- family members of the maid of the Indian diplomat -- undermining the judicial sovereignty of India, sources said.

No other details of the meetings were available.

The 1999-batch IFS officer was arrested on charges of making false declarations in a visa application for her maid Sangeeta Richard. She was released on a $250,000 bond.

She was strip searched and held with criminals, triggering a row between the two sides with India retaliating by downgrading privileges of certain category of U.S. diplomats among other steps.

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Source: PTI
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