US official makes unpleasant comments, India protests

New Delhi, Feb 1 (PTI) An American official today raisedthe hackles by describing the tagging of Indian students inCalifornia as "hip and happening", prompting an angrygovernment to lodge a strong protest with the US Embassy overthe "unacceptable" remarks, which expressed regrets.

"Those anklets are used when you have somebody who mightflee. And so you give them the choice -- would you go to theprison or would you like an anklet. The anklets are very hipand happening. Many of our movie stars caught in drunkendriving or else choose the anklets than sitting in orange suitin a prison," said Juliet Wur, Public Affairs Officer at theUS Consulate in Hyderabad.

She said the anklets were "hot and trendy" and added "Idon''t know why people are getting upset about this. I am notspeaking for the way Indians feel about something. They mayhave their own reasons for feeling that. I see itdifferently."

Soon after her comments appeared on TV channels, JawedAshraf, Joint Secretary (Americas) in the External AffairsMinistry, called US Deputy Chief of Mission Donald Lu and toldhim that the comments were in bad taste and "unacceptable",sources said.

Lu, in turn, expressed regrets over such comments andsaid she has been asked to publicly apologise, the sourcessaid.

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