Treatment meted out to diplomat unwarranted: IFS Association

The Association of Indian Foreign Services today termed as "unwarranted, excessive and exceptionable" the arrest and shameful treatment meted out by US authorities to one of its members, Devyani Khobragade, Deputy Consul General in New York, and demanded dropping of all cases against her unconditionally.

New Delhi: The Association of Indian Foreign Services today termed as "unwarranted, excessive and exceptionable" the arrest and shameful treatment meted out by US authorities to one of its members, Devyani Khobragade, Deputy Consul General in New York, and demanded dropping of all cases against her unconditionally.

In a resolution passed at a meeting, under the Presidentship of Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, the Association said, "It is firmly of the view that the conduct of the US authorities was violative of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963 and in violation of accepted norms and practice between civilised States.

"Clearly, such action is unwarranted, excessive and exceptionable, and not in keeping with or conducive to the development of India`s friendly, wide ranging and cooperative relations with the United States based on mutual respect."

Expressing its fullest solidarity with Khobragade at this trying and exigent moment, the Association said it strongly condemns the treatment meted out to her.

The Association also welcomed the statements made by the Indian political leadership, ministries and state governments, media and public opinion expressing solidarity and support.

"The humiliation was not just Khobragade`s, but India`s. To this end, the Association seeks urgently an assurance from the US authorities of the safety and well-being of its officer in keeping with the spirit of the Vienna Convention. The Association further demands that all cases against her should be dropped unconditionally," the resolution said.

A 1999-batch IFS officer, Khobragade was arrested last week on visa fraud charges as she was dropping her daughter to school and released on a USD 250,000 bond only after pleading not guilty in court.

The senior diplomat was put through both strip and cavity searches, procedures normally used for criminals.

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