New Delhi/New York: Diplomat Devyani Khobragade left for India on Friday after a deal between the India and US in which she was granted diplomatic immunity from charges of alleged visa fraud and lying about underpaying her domestic help. Her arrest and alleged humiliation nearly a month ago had strained ties between the two countries.
Here are the 10 latest developments in this story
- After weeks of escalating tension, India and the US reached an agreement under which Devyani Khobragade leaves the country but still faces charges if she returns.
- The 39-year-old diplomat was on Wednesday granted a G1 visa by the US, which gives her full diplomatic immunity.
- India rejected America's request to waive Ms Khobragade's diplomatic immunity, after which she was asked to exit the country, leaving her two young children behind. (read:India refuses US request to waive 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.
- A US grand jury indicted her on Thursday 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)
- The charges against Devyani Khobragade will remain pending and she will have to face trial if she returns to America without diplomatic immunity, US Attorney Preet Bharara has said.
- Before leaving for India, Ms Khobragade asserted that she was innocent. "All charges against me are false and baseless," she said. The diplomat, whose children are still in the US, said she was determined to ensure that the episode did not leave a lasting imprint on her family. (read: Devyani Khobragade's statement)
- Her father Uttam Khobragade said in Delhi, "Devyani was fighting to uphold the sovereignty of this country. When alternatives were offered she sacrificed the personal comfort."
- 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)
- Ms Khobragade's former domestic help 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.