Devyani Khobragade returns home

New Delhi, Jan 10 : Indian diplomat in USA, Devyani Khobragade, who was charged with a visa fraud, arrested, strip-searched and then kept in a lock up with ordinary criminals in New York before her release last month, arrived in New Delhi on Friday.

Khobragade arrived at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi.

Her father Uttam Khobragade received her at the air port.

Meanwhile, relationship between the US and India continued to remain bitter over the entire controversy surrounding the treatment meted out to Khobragade
as the Asian nation demanded US to withdraw a diplomat of Devyani's rank from Delhi, reports said on Friday.

India continued to fume over the treatment meted out to Khobragade after her arrest and pushed USA to drop the charges of visa fraud against her over her missing Indian housekeeper and controversy over her "low wages" in America, the US had said she has to undergo the judicial process there.

She was subsequently transferred to a UN posting by India offering her more immunity though the charges against her remained. Devyani was the Deputy Consul General of India in New York when she was arrested.

On Friday, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said Devyani Khobragade has been given G1 visa with full diplomatic immunity on 8 Jan 2014. "Airborne on way back to India," he tweeted.

"Devyani Khobragade given G1 visa by #USA according her full diplomatic immunity. #India transfers her back. She is now flying home," his tweet said.

Preet Bharara, India born US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who had ordered her arrest, had justified the action against Khobragade.

India earlier hit out at the United States over the maltreatment of its diplomat Khobragade by taking a clutch of measures against the US diplomats and their families in India with some moves as symbolic as removing barricades outside US embassy in New Delhi.

US diplomats and their families were asked to surrender their identity cards and their airport passes were withdrawn after it was known that the Indian diplomat was strip searched and put with drug addicts in a cell in USA after her arrest.

In the latest measure, India has asked the US embassy to shut down all "commercial" facilities on its premises by Jan 16.

--IBNS (Posted on 11-01-2014)

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