Diplomat row updates: Devyani illegal beneficiary in Adarsh society

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Diplomat row: US rejects India's demands, charges against Devyani to be upheld
Washington, Dec 20: As the row between India and US over the arrest of diplomat Devyani Khobragade is escalating, US refused to accept India's demands on Thursday.

8 pm: Devyani illegal beneficiary in Adarsh housing society

According to a report tabled today in the Maharastra assembly stated that Devyani is among 25 other illegal beneficiaries in the Adarsh Housing society.

6.25 pm: Foreign Secretary slams US

Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh slammed the US today for humiliating Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade. Singh said: "We expect our diplomats to be given same basic courtesy that we show to diplomats of US, other countries."

Speaking about the whole issue she said that the country had followed its own path, followed what was thought to be in the best of interest.

4.25 pm: India questions US

India questioned us today on many inconsistencies in the Devyani Khobragade case. India questioned the time taken by US to gather facts since 8 days the news broke. India questioned US on the swift evacuations of Sangeetha Richard's family from India.

2:30 pm: 'India's foremost concern is Devyani's safety'

Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur said India has not diluted its stand and the country's foremost concern is safety of Devyani.

2:30 pm: Atrocious, says Manish Tewari

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari described the US' treatment meted out to Devyani as 'atrocious', demanding Washington's apology, which is India's "legitimate expectation".

2:30 pm: RPI attacks Dominos in Bandra, calls for boycott of American restaurants

Republican Party of India (Athawale group) attacked American food chain Dominos at Bandra in protest of Devyani's arrest.Later, it called for boycott of all American restaurants.

2:15pm: India to take legal measures

As the US made it clear that it will not drop charges against Devyani Khobragade, India has decided to take legal measures to defend her. 

2:00pm: Khurshid hopeful

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said he was hopeful of a solution to the US diplomatic row. "We have taken steps in order to maintain dignity and comfort of our diplomat, for me to react to anything said by someone is uncalled for," he said.

Khurshid added that talks are on with US. "My duty is to be in conversation with my counterpart, John Kerry."

1:30pm:  Shinde on FIR against Sangeeta Richard

Law will take its own course, said Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on FIR filed with the Delhi Police against Indian diplomat's maid Sangeeta Richard.

12:53pm: US envoy meets MEA officials

US envoy Nancy Powell met Ministry of External Affairs over Devyani's arrest. 

12:00 pm: Kamal Nath demands apology from US

United States has to apologise and drop the charges against diplomat Devyani, repeated Union Minister Kamal Nath. He said India was not going to be kicked around and the United States must apologise. "Times have changed, India has changed... we cannot be taken for granted by the United States... they must apologise and drop charges."

10:30 am: BJP demands apology

BJP has also jumped into the fray and demanded apology from US. BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said there was no other option but for the United States to apologise for arresting Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade. "Whatever has happened, US must come forward and apologise for arresting Devyani," he said.

9.20 am: Devyani Khobragade's maid faces arrest

Sangeeta Richards, the domestic help of Khobragade, faces arrest on arrival in India after an FIR was registered against her and her husband Philip after a Delhi court issued a non-bailable warrant against her.

9.00 am: Devyani's father wants Supreme Court to take suo motu cognisance

Uttam Khobragade, father of Devyani, sought an intervention of the apex court in the matter.

8:00 am: US state department on Thursday ruled out India's demand for an apology and said they will not drop charges against Devyani. "We take these allegations very seriously. We're not in any way walking back from those allegations or the charges. Again, this is really a law enforcement issue," the State Department spokesperson, Marie Harf said.

Reiterating that charges against Devyani will not be dropped, Harf said, ""I don't know the details of the complaint, and I don't know if even withdrawing the complaint, which I'm not saying anybody is considering, would, in fact, drop the charge. That's not something that's even being considered."

Maid a 'US spy'?

A Sify report asks whether Sangeetha Richards, Devyani's maid, was a US spy. "Was Sangeeta recruited by the US Intelligence Agencies to gain information of Indian diplomatic mission in the US?", the report asks.

US distances itself from Preet Bharara

The US on Thursday distanced itself from the statement of US Attorney Preet Bharara, who is prosecuting the diplomat's case. Preet Bharara had outrightly denied claims that Devyani Khobragade was mistreated, arrested in public and handcuffed.

Father threatens to go on hunger strike

Meanwhile, Devyani's father, retired IAS officer Uttam Khobragade on Thursday threatened to launch a hunger strike if justice was not done to his daughter. He demanded withdrawal of all charges against Devyani.  "Prime minister Manmohan Singh should talk to US president Barack Obama and resolve the issue as early as possible. If nothing happens, I will sit on fast-unto-death," Khobragade said.

(To know the story so far, click here)

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