Devyani Khobragade: Opposition deplores Indian diplomat`s arrest in US

The treatment meted out to an Indian diplomat in New York rocked Rajya Sabha today forcing a brief adjournment and suspension of Question Hour as an angry opposition accused the government of showing lackadaisical attitude and demanded apology from the US.

PTI| Updated: Dec 18, 2013, 14:13 PM IST

New Delhi: The treatment meted out to an Indian diplomat in New York rocked Rajya Sabha today forcing a brief adjournment and suspension of Question Hour as an angry opposition accused the government of showing lackadaisical attitude and demanded apology from the US.

The entire Opposition, led by BJP, was on its feet as soon as the House met for the day demanding discussion on diplomat Devyani Khobragade`s arrest.

Describing the arrest and the way it was done as a matter of "grave concern", Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley said there was a need to introspect India`s foreign policy.

He said the arrest was in violation of the provisions of Vienna Convention, which provides certain immunity to diplomats, because of India`s attitude of "looking the other way" when it warranted prompt attention and protest as in the snooping case.

"Many countries protested and officials of the highest level even cancelled meetings, but India did not utter a word," Jaitley said.

"We should negotiate as equals. We conduct our foreign policy in a manner that we can be taken for granted. We should take this incident in its seriousness. We must ensure that necessary correctives are taken," he said.

BSP supremo Mayawati also deplored the "humiliating and insulting" way Khobragade was arrested and frisked, and said this was "a matter of great concern and government should take the issue very seriously."

Alleging procrastination on the part of the government in dealing with the matter, she said this was because the diplomat belonged to the Scheduled Caste community.

"It is a fact that the action is delayed because she is from Scheduled Caste community," she said, alleging that had she been from an upper caste, the government would not have dealt in such a manner.

Congress members protested her remark, but she did not relent.