Devyani Khobragade back in Delhi after hard negotiations, India expels US diplomat in tit-for-tat action

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Devyani Khobragade back in Delhi after hard negotiations, India expels US diplomat in tit-for-tat action
New Delhi/New York:  Diplomat Devyani Khobragade flew back to New Delhi on Friday after a deal between the US and India in which she was indicted but granted diplomatic immunity from visa fraud charges. "I want to thank my nation for the support they have given me," the 39-year-old diplomat said after returning to Delhi.

India, meanwhile, expelled an American diplomat of similar rank from Delhi, in a sign of lingering bitterness between the two countries.
Here are the latest updates on this story:
  1. Sources say India accuses this officer at the US Embassy in New Delhi of a role in the events leading up to the Ms Khobragade's arrest. Sources also say that the officer was involved in getting the family of Ms Khobragade's former domestic help, Sangeeta Richard, in flying out of India for the US.The director-rank diplomat was given "a little more than 48 hours" to leave India, sources said.
  2. Ms Khobragade's late night flight followed dramatic developments over 48 hours that saw hardball negotiations between India and the US, ending in an agreement whereby Devyani Khobragade left the country, armed with full diplomatic immunity from visa fraud charges, but will still face these charges if she returns. (Read: Foreign media on how it happened)
  3. India rejected America's request to waive Ms Khobragade's immunity, after which she was asked to exit the country, leaving her two young children behind. They are likely to join her later. (Read: India refuses US request to waive immunity)
  4. After Ms Khobragade's return to Delhi on Friday, the US said the diplomat now no longer enjoys immunity and she and Indian government were told that an arrest warrant might be issued against her. "Prior to her (Devyani Khobragade) departure, it was conveyed to her and to the government of India that she is not permitted to return to the United States except to submit to the jurisdiction of the court," State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, told reporters. (Read more)
  5. Ms Khobragade was on Wednesday granted a G1 visa by the US, which gives her full diplomatic immunity. India had transferred her to the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations to enable her G-visa, which is issued to foreign government representatives working in international organisations in the US.
  6. A US grand jury indicted her on Thursday on two counts, for visa fraud and making false statements to get a work visa for Sangeeta Richard, her housekeeper in New York. (Read: Indian diplomat arrested in US for alleged visa fraud)
  7. Before leaving for India, Ms Khobragade asserted that she was innocent. "All charges against me are false and baseless," she said. The diplomat said she was determined to ensure that the episode did not leave a lasting imprint on her family. (Read Devyani Khobragade's statement)
  8. The BJP said bringing back Devyani Khobragade was India's defeat, as the charges against her will not be dropped. (Read)
  9. Ms Khobragade was arrested on December 12 while dropping her children off at school in New York, where she was serving as deputy consul general. She was strip searched and held with criminals, triggering a massive row with India unleashing retaliatory measures to downgrade the privileges of American diplomats. (Devyani Khobragade case: US embassy asked to stop commercial activities)
  10. Sangeeta Richard has made a statement justifying her allegations of exploitation. "I never thought that things would get so bad here, that I would work so much that I did not have time to sleep or eat or have time to myself. I would like to tell other domestic workers who are suffering as I did - you have rights and do not let anyone exploit you." Her statement was released by the anti-trafficking group Safe Horizon. (Read: Didn't have time to sleep, says Devyani Khobragade's former help)



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