Indian diplomat handcuffed, stripped searched, DNA fingerprinted and confined with drug addicts in US lockup
1999-batch IFS officer Devyani Khobragade, working as India’s deputy consul general in New York, was detained from near the school of her children and later handcuffed. She was strip-searched and confined with drug addicts after her detention in a visa fraud case. She was also subjected to DNA swabbing.
India and United States of America are now involved in a full blown diplomatic war over the public arrest, strip search and ill-treatment meted out to Deputy Consul General Devyani Khobragade by New York police on the charges of visa fraud. In an exceptionally strong stand, India is recalling all consulate personnel ID cards and made it clear that the law of strict reciprocity is in place. So if the US says that Devyani has limited immunity, a similar procedure will be applicable for US diplomats stationed in India.
India has also withdrawn all airport passes for consulates and embassy vehicles which mean they cannot get priority treatment and will have to park their vehicles as ordinary passengers after paying the fee. In another stern step authorities have asked for all details including salaries paid to all Indian staff employed in US consulates, including those working as domestic help by the Americans families in India.
To determine if they’re paying tax or not, India has also asked for visa details of all teachers at US schools in the country and what they’re being paid and details of their bank accounts.
In one of the strongest steps, Delhi Police has been asked to lift barricades outside the US Embassy and all import clearances for the Embassy have also been stopped, which means American diplomats cannot import anything.
The snub to the US delegation is seen as a strong message by both the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and the Congress party as they have been accused by the opposition parties of following a soft foreign policy.
The slew of diplomatic measures has been taken to leave the US “in no doubt of seriousness of India’s concern over the issue of Devyani Khobragade”. While External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid did meet the US delegation, he took up issue of diplomat’s treatment strongly.