NEW DELHI: A leader of the India’s main opposition party on Friday described the return of Indian diplomat in New York Devyani Khobragade, who was indicted on charges of visa fraud and making false statements and she left the US for India after being given diplomatic immunity, as the nation’s defeat.
“From the beginning it was clear that American government would not bow down in this case and will do what they wanted. Taking Khobragade back is our defeat, as a case will be registered against her in America,” the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha said.
“Government runs on avouchment, and Indian government’s avouchment has ended. Her husband is an American national but she won’t be able to go back to America now. There are several matters, for which if the correct language is not used, the country will not understand,” Sinha said.
The BJP leader further said that the US diplomats in India commit a lot of wrong things but get away with it. “American embassy sent Sangeeta Richard’s family to America from here, and we are still not speaking anything. They were our responsibility, we had to save them but they took them away from here,” he said.
“We are not taking this issue as seriously as we should. Here, American embassy people have been doing very wrong things, but we never stopped them. We have to tell them that we will reciprocate and will do what they do to us. We have to remove the inferiority complex,” the opposition leader said.
“Today, even if America’s smallest minister, a member of parliament, comes to India, we treat him as if President Obama himself has come here,” Sinha added.
The 39-year-old Khobragade‚ who was deputy consul-general in New York‚ was arrested on December 12 and charged with one count of visa fraud and another of making false statements about how much she paid her housekeeper.
On Thursday, a federal grand jury in Manhattan formally indicted Khobragade on charges of visa fraud and making false statements. However, later the Indian diplomat left the US after she was granted full diplomatic immunity.
In a statement, the State Department spokesman said the charges against Khobragade will not be dropped and she will face them if she returns.
Khobragade’s arrest and strip-search spurred outrage in India as New Delhi took a series of retaliatory measures against the United States including removing security barriers outside the US embassy in the capital.