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Diplomat Devyani Khobragade case: New envoy S Jaishankar meets top US officials

Friday, 27 December 2013 - 1:12pm IST | Place: Washington, DC | Agency: PTI

The new Indian Ambassador to the US, S Jaishankar on Friday met top officials of the State Department to convey India's strong protest over the arrest of its senior diplomat in New York over visa fraud charges, even though she had diplomatic immunity.

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

Both the meetings were dominated by the arrest of Devyani Khobragade, in New York early this month, which India insists is in violation of the Vienna Convention.

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

No official details of the meetings were available.

Khobragade, a 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 USD 250,000 bond.

Reports that she was strip searched and held with criminals triggered a row between the two sides with India retaliating by downgrading privileges of certain category of US diplomats among other steps.

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