Diplomat row updates: BJP withdraws invite to US envoy for Modi rally

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Diplomat row updates: Devyani doesn't enjoy permanent immunity
New Delhi, Dec 21:The diplomatic row that erupted between India and the US over the arrest of Indian diplomat Devyani in New York is continuing as the US refuses to accede to India's demand for an apology. Follow the live updates of the story here:

2:00pm: BJP withdraws invite to US envoy for Modi rally

BJP withdrew invite to the US envoy to protest Indian Deputy Consul General Devyani Khobragade arrest. The invite was for the US envoy to attend party prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's rally in Mumbai on Sunday.

1:00pm: 'Devyani case not to impact India-US commercial ties'

Union minister for commerce Anand Sharma said on Saturday that ongoing spat between India and US over the diplomat Devyani Khobragade issue would not impact commercial ties between the two countries. 

"India was outraged over the treatment given to Devyani but our relationship with the US is far too important. It is a strategic partnership between the two largest democracies of the world. Strategic in every sense, so we are not disengaging. This relationship will go stronger," Sharma said.

11:00: US to pursue charges against Devyani

US informed that they are proceeding with charges against Devyani. 

10:00am: Support for the maid

Domestic workers and activists protested near the Indian Consulate in New York on Friday to mark their support for Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade's domestic help Sangeeta Richards.

"Trafficking happens around New York, labour trafficking by diplomats. This is not an isolated case. We've seen that diplomats bring workers here on the A3 and G5 visas and because of their immunity are able to abuse workers and exploit workers," said a protestor.

9:00am: UN processing request to accredit Devyani to Permanent Mission

The UN on Saturday said it has received official notification from India to register diplomat Devyani Khobragade, who was arrested on visa fraud charges, as a member of the country's Permanent Mission and the request will be processed according to "standard procedures".

8:00am: No permanent immunity

In the latest, sources say that the US diplomatic immunity will not protect Devyani Khobragade from being prosecuted. However India continues its fight for an apology from the US.

8:00am: 'Ties with india are important to us'

The US on Friday welcomed India's reconciliatory stress on the importance of preserving their "valuable" ties as they try to work out a solution.

The US and India were engaged in conversations at various levels to find a way forward, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters saying it agreed with the Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid's views on how important and valuable the relationship is

"This government won't let the nation down"

Union minister Salman Khurshid said on Friday that the government will not let the country down and will continue to take a strong stand against the US. Khurshid added that the US should have let India handle this matter.

(Read the story so far here)

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