As Devyani returns home, India orders US diplomat to leave country in retaliatory move

As Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade flies home after charged with visa fraud and underpaying her housekeeper, India on Friday asked the US embassy in New Delhi to withdraw an officer of similar rank as her.

By Himanshu Kapoor | Updated: Jan 11, 2014, 00:44 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Himanshu Kapoor

New Delhi: As Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade returns home after being charged with visa fraud and underpaying her housekeeper, India, in a reciprocal action, on Friday expelled a senior US diplomat of similar rank as her, and has given a little over 48 hours to leave the country. The government sources have said that India has the reason to believe that the expelled US embassy official is involved in the processes related to Khobragade case.
The New York-based Khobragade`s arrest row escalated after the US failed to respect her diplomatic immunity and performed strip and cavity search on her. Moreover, the US has not even apologised yet for the diplomat`s arrest.
The US authorities earlier said that the Indian diplomat whose arrest sparked a row has now left the United States to fly back home. According to the reports, Devyani, who has been granted a G1 visa, has left her children behind and has thanked the Government of India (GOI) for helping her cause.

India had demanded an unconditional apology from the US in regard to the arrest of India`s deputy consul general in New York after the widespread outrage. Devyani, however, denied all charges of visa fraud and underpaying her nanny Sangeeta Richards.

The indictment said that Devyani had listed a monthly pay of $4,500 to her servant but the figure did not match that of the actual income.

"Knowing that if the US authorities were told the truth about the actual terms of her employment agreement with the victim, Khobragade would not have been able to obtain a visa for the victim, Khobragade decided to make false statements to the US authorities," the indictment said.