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Govt. with every Indian who is mistreated abroad, says RPN Singh

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 - 5:12pm IST | Agency: ANI

Minister of State for Home R.P.N Singh on Tuesday said Indo-U.S. relations have always been cordial and added the way the case of Devyani Khobragade was handled by the U.S. authorities was very disappointing.

“Whenever any Indian is mistreated anywhere in the world, the government and the nation stands by that person,” Singh said.

“The U.S. authorities should not have behaved in such manner, as the Indo-US relations are very cordial. We will ask for an explanation from the U.S., as there is certain code of conduct which needs to be followed while dealing with a diplomat,” he added.

“We have lodged a strong protest on this matter. Everybody has boycotted the meeting with the American delegation. Speaker and other ministers have refused to meet them, and so has Rahul Gandhi,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Ministry of External Affairs, Preneet Kaur, said, “The U.S. ambassador was summoned. Our ministers have not met the visiting delegation. The way the issue was handled by the U.S. authorities was very bad. It is not acceptable. And that’s why we have lodged our protest.

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 $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 U.S. 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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