Devyani Khobragade returns to India, shifted to MEA in Delhi

Written by: Sandra Marina Fernandes
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Devyani Khobragade returns to India, shifted to MEA in Delhi
New Delhi, Jan 10: Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade has left for India, her lawyer said on Friday. She has been transferred to Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, he said.

The 1999-batch IFS officer, who was arrested in US in November for visa fraud, said all charges against her are false and baseless.

Devyani indicted

Devyani's arrest had trigered a massive diplomatic row between India and US. She was reportedly strip-searched and ill-treated in custody. India argued that the US arresting a diplomat who has immunity is strictly against the Vienna Convention agreement. However, US chose to stand by the allegation and indicted Devyani on Jan 9 on two counts of visa fraud and making false statements in connection with the visa application of her domestic help Sangeeta Richard.

Subsequently, Indian government decided to transfer her to New Delhi office.

Devyani has been indicated on 2 counts of visa fraud and making false statements


Meanwhile, India has refused the United States' request to waive the diplomatic immunity of Khobragade after the US accepted her request for UN accreditation, sources said. "We were asked to waive her diplomatic immunity but we have refused. She has departed for India," MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said. "We have accepted the Indians request to accredit Devyanai Khobragade to the United Nations," a US government official told PTI.

MEA statement

According to the statement of the MEA, she was given G1 visa by US according her full diplomatic immunity. At the time of her departure for India, Devyani reiterated her innocence on charges filed against her.

"She affirmed her gratitude to the Government of India, in particular to the External Affairs Minister, and the people of India, as also the media, for their strong and sustained support during this period. She also affirmed her determination to ensure that the episode would not leave a lasting impact on her family, in particular, her children, who are still in the United States", says the statement.

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