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PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 17
THE father of India’s Deputy Consul General in New York Devyani Khobragade on Tuesday met Union ministers here to complain about the arrest and strip search of his daughter by US authorities which he termed as violation of human rights and Vienna Convention.
Uttam Khobragade, father of 39-year-old Devyani, met Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and demanded that the issue be resolved through “political and diplomatic” initiatives. “It is not Devyani’s insult, but of the nation as she is representing the country. Devyani has been made a target, a scapegoat.... It is the outcome of tussle going on between the Ministry of External Affairs and US State department for the last two years,” he said.
He was speaking to media after meeting External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.
The Indian diplomat was arrested and handcuffed in public on visa fraud charges last week. Khobragade, a 1999-batch IFS officer, was taken into custody on a street in New York as she was dropping her daughter to school, before being released on a USD 250,000 bond after pleading not guilty in court. Khobragade said Shinde assured him that government will take necessary steps to ensure she gets justice.
“They are aware of the development and fully convinced that my daughter is being unnecessarily harassed and humiliated. This is a clear case of human rights violation and violation of Vienna Convention. I have been assured that the government is working in every manner to ensure that no harm is done to my daughter,” he said.
Alleging that Sangeeta Richard, the nanny hired by Devyani, has committed fraud, Khobragade said FIR against his daughter was registered “under a conspiracy” while the real culprit was the nanny. He said a case is pending against Richard in Indian court.
He said he has sought appointment with PM Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Khobragade said the present case won’t deter Devyani from completing her term in the US.
After meeting Khobragade, Shinde said, “He told me everything about the incident. Immediately, I have spoken to the concerned people for action. She will get justice.”