Govt defends diplomat on slavery charges

Last Updated: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 00:37

New Delhi: Government on Wednesday defended Indian
Consul General in New York Prabhu Dayal who has been accused
of mistreating his maid, saying the allegations levelled
against him appeared to be "motivated and baseless" and voiced
concern over Indian diplomats being targeted in the US.
"We are disappointed and surprised at the allegations
against Consul General (CG) of India in New York, Mr. Prabhu
Dayal, by his former employee, which appear to be motivated
and baseless," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vishnu
Prakash said in a statement.



He said Dayal had "impeccable personal and professional
integrity" and India was "disappointed and deeply concerned
that Indian diplomats and their family members, should be
targeted in such a manner by a friendly country like the US."



Such actions impede the ability of the individuals in
question to discharge their official responsibilities and
cause untold mental harassment and anguish and they cannot be
dismissed lightly, Prakash said.



"The treatment being meted out to Indian diplomats or
their family members, has resulted in negative public
perceptions in India with attendant implications," he said.
Dayal has been slapped with forced labour charges after
his 45-year-old maid Santosh Bhardwaj accused him of treating
her as a "slave" and not paying enough.



Dayal has termed the allegations as "mischievous and
malicious lies" and apprised the Indian government about the
case.



He said Bhardwaj suddenly disappeared in January 2010
and has now re-appeared with these allegations.



PTI




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