Wednesday, Dec 18, 2013, 18:00 IST | Agency: PTI
Indian Parliamentarians on Wednesday voiced outrage at the treatment meted out to Deputy Consul General in New York Devyani Khobragade, demanding strong retaliatory action by the government and apology by the US.
Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha saw impromptu discussion on the issue with angry members cutting across party lines condemning the US action, saying it was not the first time that such treatment has been meted out to an Indian dignitary.
The government also came under attack, with Opposition parties alleging that it was not doing enough.
In the Lok Sabha, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav raised the issue and demanded that the House should pass a resolution condemning the US.
Demanding apology by the US, he cited the earlier cases of humiliating treatment meted to his party colleague Azam Khan, Union Ministers Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel besides former President A P J Abdul Kalam and former Defence Minister George Fernandes there.
Associating with Yadav and condemning the incident, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj said even former Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar had to face insult.
Congress member Sanjay Nirupam also demanded strong action by the government.
In the Rajya Sabha, the entire Opposition led by BJP was on its feet as soon as the House met for the day. They demanded discussion on diplomat Devyani Khobragade’s arrest.
Describing the arrest and the way it was done as a matter of “grave concern”, Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley said there was a need to introspect India’s foreign policy.
Jaitley said the arrest was in violation of the provisions of Vienna Convention, which provides certain immunity to diplomats, because of India’s attitude of “looking the other way” when it warranted prompt attention and protest as in the snooping case.
“We should negotiate as equals. We conduct our foreign policy in a manner that we can be taken for granted. We should take this incident in its seriousness. We must ensure that necessary correctives are taken,” he said.
BSP supremo Mayawati also deplored the “humiliating and insulting” way Khobragade was arrested and frisked, and said this was “a matter of great concern and government should take the issue very seriously.”
Alleging procrastination on the part of the government in dealing with the matter, she said this was because the diplomat belonged to the Scheduled Caste community.
Congress members protested her remark, but she did not relent.
Derek O’Brien (TMC) said US should stop pretending to be the self-appointed lokpal of the world.
Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) said the incident “cannot be tolerated by a self-respecting sovereign country”.
D P Tripathi (NCP) said “India has to be tough” in dealing with US as the incident is “atrocious and undiplomatic”.
Several other MPs also spoke against the treatment meted out to Khobragade
SOURCE: PTI /DNA