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India won't dilute its stand on Khobragade case: Preneet Kaur

New Delhi, Dec. 20 : Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur on Friday said India won't dilute its stand on the alleged visa fraud case linked to Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade.


"India has not diluted its stand. Our foremost concern is the safety and security of Devyani, who is our diplomat there, and on that, there is no compromise," said Kaur.

"We are looking into their (U.S.) response. We can only reach a conclusion after sometime," she said.

"I don't know whether we actually asked for an unconditional apology. We are asking for her case to be withdrawn and for her security. We have told them whatever happened is not acceptable," she added.

It said that U.S. Government should have focused on Sangeetha Richards and her family and not on Khobragade and her family.

Referring to the evacuation of Richards's family members from India to the United States, the MEA was earlier quoted, as saying that no foreign government had a right to evacuate Indian citizens while cases were pending against them.

Earlier, Manhattan prosecutor Preet Bharara vowed to hold those breaking the law accountable "no matter how powerful, rich or connected they are."

Bharara claimed there has been "misinformation and factual inaccuracy" in the reporting on the Khobragade case which is "creating an inflammatory atmosphere" between the United States and India.

"There has been much misinformation and factual inaccuracy in the reporting on the charges against Devyani Khobragade. It is important to correct these inaccuracies because they are misleading people and creating an inflammatory atmosphere on an unfounded basis," he said.

Accepting that he has a limited role as a prosecutor in the visa fraud case involving Khobragade, Bharara said he had constraints in explaining the whole case as he would like, but "nevertheless would make sure that the public record is clearer than it has been thus far."

Bharara continues to maintain that Khobragade evaded U.S. laws designed to protect the domestic employees of diplomats and consular officers from exploitation.

"This Office's sole motivation in this case, as in all cases, is to uphold the rule of law, protect victims, and hold accountable anyone who breaks the law, no matter what their societal status and no matter how powerful, rich or connected they are," he said.

He further said that legal attempts had begun in India against the victim, who had worked as a domestic help for Khobragade, and attempts were being made to "silence" her.

He said the domestic help's family was brought to the United States to ensure the safety of victims, witnesses and their families, while cases are pending.

He said that she was charged based on conduct as is alleged in the court complaint, which "shows she clearly tried to evade U.S. law designed to protect from exploitation the domestic employees of diplomats and consular officers."

A 1999 batch IFS officer, Khobragade, India's Deputy Consul General in New York, was arrested on December 12 by the State Department's diplomatic security bureau, and then handed over to the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS).

Khobragade was taken into custody as she was dropping her daughter to school before being released on a USD 250,000 bond after pleading not guilty in court.

--ANI (Posted on 21-12-2013)

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