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Govt supports our cause, says Devyani Khobragade's father after meeting Sushilkumar Shinde

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 - 5:06pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: ANI
Earlier this morning, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Shinde refused to meet a visiting delegation of U.S. Congressmen in protest against the way the matter has been handled.

Uttam Khobragade, the father of Devyani Khobragade, the diplomat who was arrested last week in connection with a visa fraud case, met Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Tuesday and said the government supports Devyani, and termed the whole incident as ‘atrocious’.

“The home minister has said the government is answerable for her security and liberty. The whole government is supporting us and that she was on duty, and hasn’t committed any crime. What happened was absolutely atrocious. She is liable for diplomatic immunity,” claimed Uttam Khobragade after his meeting with Shinde.

“The government will try to get the charges against her dropped. He also assured us that no harm will be done to her,” he added.

Earlier this morning, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Shinde refused to meet a visiting delegation of U.S. Congressmen in protest against the way the matter has been handled.

On Monday, National Security Advisor and Speaker of the Lok Sabha Meira Kumar too had refused to meet the delegation.

India's Deputy Counsel General Devyani Khobragade, 39, was arrested on December 12 for presenting false documents for a visa application for her Indian origin babysitter and housekeeper Sangeeta Richards at her home in New York.

She was taken into custody after she dropped her daughter to school at around 9 a.m. She was charged with presenting false documents and visa fraud, which has a maximum sentence of five and ten years of imprisonment respectively.

She was later released on a USD 250,000 bail. On December 13, Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh summoned American ambassador Nancy Powell and lodged protest over the incident.

The Indian Embassy in Washington also reacted strongly on the issue and released a statement saying it "immediately conveyed its strong concern" to the US Government over the action taken against Khobragade.

The Embassy in a statement said, "The U.S. side have been urged to resolve the matter with due sensitivity, taking into account the Diplomatic status of the officer concerned."


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