Devyani Khobragade reveals unholy truths behind her arrest; Was threatened by maid

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Devyani Khobragade
New Delhi, Oct 13: What exactly happened in the morning of December 12 had remained a mystery for all of us till date. In an interview with Times Now, ex-Deputy Consul General of India in New York revealed the unholy truths behind her arrest and the way she was ill-treated, despite enjoying diplomatic immunity.

Narrating her ordeal, Khobragade reveals all she went through that day since the time she was arrested. "I had gone to drop my kids to school. When I came out, I saw a man and a woman waiting from outside. On asking, they said they were from the Bureau of Diplomatic SEcurity (BDS) and that they had an arrest warrant against me. They showed be the warrant after several requests, despite reminding them that I enjoy diplomatic immunity and that I cannot be ill-treated like a criminal," Khobragade said.

Not allowed to make a call

"When I said, I needed to speak to a lawyer, they said that the US would provide me one. When I insisted that I wanted one of my own, they relented," Khobragade said. She was then taken to the US Marshal's office, which deals with federal criminals, something that did not apply to Khobragade immediately, even if she was one. "I managed to inform my husband, sister-in-law about the incident just in time before my phone was taken away."

She was handcuffed several times, strip-searched and cavity searched several times, despite reminders from her that she was a diplomat and could not be treated like that. However, on being asked what was the nature of search she underwent, she said,"I would not want to go through that yet again. So let's not talk about it. But, cheek swabs and fingerprints were taken, which a diplomat should be excused from."

Criticism that hurt

"This experience did not hurt me as much as the comments by my own people in India, who still are under the impression that I got an easy escape and that I should be punished for something that I did not do."

"I never did anything unlawful. All the information on the visa form were correct. I was helping my househelp to fill up the form. The $4,500 that was mentioned against me was the salary I earned and not her salary. I treated her like a part of my family; never imagined her doing something like that. She had access to everything-the house, the kids; i trusted her with everything."


No help from the US authorities

Throwing light on a few loopholes in the US jurisdiction, Khobragade said that she got no help or response from the US authorities when her maid went missing. "I was worried what had happened to her. "When I tried to file a missing complaint, I did not get any support.""A few days later, I get threat calls from my maid's lawyer, insisting me for a settlement amount if I had to save myself the harassment of court." Following this, Khobragade requested the lawyer to come to her office and speak to her directly.

'Maid threatened me in my office'

Two to three days before my maid disappeared, she had come to my office asking to live outside home and work outside. "When I said that this was not possible because of legal issues, she threatened me saying "Fraud karna to mujhe bhi aata hai (even I know how to fraud)" and she left home without intimating."

Truth revealed?

Citing the incident, Khobragade revealed a hard-to-digest truths about a racket revolving immigration lawyers, who go around asking domestic helps if they wanted to accuse anyone. That way, the complainant can get residents visa in the US and may be allowed to work there. "I would understand, if she was approached by someone like that and she could not resist the temptation," Khobragade said.

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