Nobody can take India for granted: PC Chacko on Devyani Khobragade row

New Delhi, Jan 10 : Hours after Indian diplomat Dr. Devyani Khobragade was given diplomatic immunity and is on her way back to India, Congress leader PC Chacko on Friday said whatever has happened was most unfortunate in the diplomatic circles, and asserted that nobody can take India for granted.

"We have proved that nobody can take India for granted. Because whatever has happened there was most unfortunate in the diplomatic circles, such a thing has never happened whether it is America or anybody, India is not going to take things like that we have retorted in strongest measures possible. We are happy about it," said Chacko.

In a statement, the External Affairs Ministry said: "Khobragade, Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in New York, was accorded on January 8, 2014 the privileges and immunities of a diplomatic envoy under the terms of Section 15 of the Headquarters Agreement between the United Nations and the United States. At the same time, the U.S. Government requested the Government of India to waive the immunity of Counsellor Khobragade."

On January 9, 2014, the Government of India declined to do so and transferred Counsellor Khobragade to the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, statement said.

At the time of her departure for India, Counsellor Khobragade reiterated her innocence on charges filed against her. She affirmed her gratitude to the Government of India, in particular to the External Affairs Minister, and the people of India, as also the media, for their strong and sustained support during this period, statement further said.

"She also affirmed her determination to ensure that the episode would not leave a lasting impact on her family, in particular, her children, who are still in the United States," it added.

A 1999-batch IFS officer, Khobragade, was arrested on December 12, 2013 on charges of making false declarations in a visa application for her maid. She was released on a 250,000 dollar bond. The diplomat was strip searched and held with criminals, triggering a row between the two sides, with India retaliating by downgrading privileges of certain category of US diplomats.

--ANI (Posted on 10-01-2014)

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