Two important letters in the case of Devyani Khobragade, India’s former Deputy Consul General in New York, have been published by media in India.
The first, dated September 4, 2013, is a two-page note from the U.S. State Department stating details of the allegations made against the senior diplomat by her domestic employee Sangeeta Richard, and the second, October 8, 2013, is a four-page response by the Indian Embassy here, explaining the existing charges in India against Ms. Richard.
Ms. Khobragade was arrested on the streets of New York City on December 12, 2013, and her subsequent strip-search in the custody of U.S. Marshals sparked off a diplomatic crisis between New Delhi and Washington, with India undertaking retaliatory measures such as removing security barriers to the U.S. Embassy there.
In its letter the State Department’s Assistant Chief of Protocol Gladys Boluda wrote to erstwhile Indian Ambassador in the U.S., Nirupama Rao, that it requested a voluntary meeting between Ms. Khobragade and representatives of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, so that Ms. Khobragade, who was indicted in January on criminal charges linked to visa fraud, could respond to the allegations made by Ms. Richard.
Further, Ms. Boluda informed Ambassador Rao of a two-week deadline for the Indian side to submit its findings to the State Department and necessary documentation in this context.
While there were subsequent suggestions that no indication had been made of potential action against Ms. Khobragade, this letter says, “The allegations are of considerable concern to the Department of State and consequently the Department requests that the Embassy look into these matters on an urgent basis and inform the Department of its findings.”… see more