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Diplomat Devyani Khobragade's arrest: India acts tough with US, takes tit-for-tat measures

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New Delhi: The Delhi Police removed security barricades from outside the sprawling US embassy in the capital today, as a furious India retaliated with a slew of measures to pare down the privileges of American diplomats after details of the arrest of its diplomat Devyani Khobragade in New York last week became public. (Pics: Delhi Police removes barricades outside US embassy)

US diplomats in consulates across India have been asked to surrender identity cards issued to them and their families, which entitle them to special privileges including diplomatic immunity. India has also withdrawn all airport passes for consulates and import clearances for the embassy.

Ms Khobragade was subjected to a humiliating strip search, was swabbed for DNA and was kept in a cell with drug addicts after her arrest for alleged visa fraud. She was released on bail the same day.

There is outrage in India. "It is completely unacceptable... We have put in motion what we believe will be an effective way to address this issue and protect her dignity," said External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.

As part of its reciprocal measures, India is asking for details like salaries paid to Indian staff employed in US consulates, including those working as domestic helps with the families of American officials. Officials say US consulates in India are US territory so Indian workers there should be paid American wages.

New Delhi has also asked for the visa details of all teachers at US schools, details of their salary and their bank accounts to determine if they pay taxes.

The Congress' Rahul Gandhi and the BJP's Narendra Modi today refused to meet a visiting US Congress delegation. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar also cancelled their meetings with the delegation.

Noel Clay, a US State Department spokesperson, has told NDTV that standard procedures were followed during the diplomat's arrest. The US has implied that she enjoys only limited immunity.

The US has accused Ms Khobragade of lying on the visa application for an Indian national who worked at her home, paying her less than minimum wages and forcing her to work for more than 40 hours a week. (Read charges against Devyani Khobragade)

Added: Dec-17-2013 Occurred On: Dec-17-2013
By: Desh Da Dushman
Regional News
Tags: Diplomat, Devyani Khobragade's, arrest: India, rape, acts tough, with US, takes tit-for-tat measures, usa
Location: New Delhi, Delhi, India (load item map)
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