Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava
New Delhi: Hours after Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, whose arrest and indictment over visa fraud charges in the United States sparked an intense diplomatic row between New Delhi and Washington, her father on Friday thanked the entire nation for supporting his daughter`s cause.
Devyani`s father Uttam Khobragade said, “The entire nation stood together at time of crisis my family was undergoing. It is only because of the support from the Government of India (GoI), political parties and the people here that my daughter is coming back home.”
“I express my gratitude and sincere thanks to the people of India, all political parties, media, MEA and its staff, the GoI for their support,” Uttam Khobragade said.
Hailing his daughter, who faced such a difficult situation in the United States, Uttam Khobragade said, “She as a proud Indian gave importance to sovereignty of nation and believed in judicial system of India. Devyani was fighting to uphold the sovereignty of the country. She is a proud Indian.”
“I would like to thank everyone for standing by us like a rock during this agonising time,” Devyani Khobragade`s father stated.
Heavily criticising the US authorities for charging Devyani with visa fraud and making false statements, Uttam Khobragade said, “All charges slapped against her are baseless. There are apparent ulterior motives behind indictment of Devyani.”
“Devyani was told by the US to accept that she paid less to her domestic help and pay a fine. The charges would then be dropped,” the diplomat`s father said adding, “Devyani refused to do so by saying that this will be compromising the sovereignty of my nation.”
Uttam Khobragade also expressed hope that the GoI, which has so far done its best, will continue doing so and make sure charges against his daughter are dropped.
The reactions from the senior Khobragade came shortly after the Ministry of External Affairs confirmed that Devyani was returning home after she was granted full diplomatic immunity in the US.
The United States prosecutors informed a court there late on Thursday that the New York-based Indian diplomat, Devyani Khobragade, has left the country as a grand jury unveiled charges of visa fraud and making false statements against her.
As per reports, Devyani who has been given G1 visa, left her children behind in the United States. The diplomat also thanked the Government of India (GoI) and the national media for helping her cause.
Devyani’s lawyer Daniel Arshack has categorically dismissed charges against her and said that she did not make any false statement.
Ahead of her departure, Devyani also said, “I will show my immunity to the court. The court will see that. I have diplomatic immunity. Only then will I leave the US.”
After weeks of escalating tensions between the usually friendly countries, the United States and India reached an agreement in which diplomat Devyani Khobragade left the country but still faces charges if she returns, officials said.