Diplomat row updates: Sushilkumar Shinde to talk to US

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Indian diplomat strip searched; row erupts between India and US
New Delhi, Dec 17: Tension mounted between India and the US over Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade's arrest in New York.

8.05 pm Sushilkumar Shinde to talk to US

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that the ministry was not happy with the way Devyani was treated and the way her case was handled. "The Indian government is looking in the matter and we will take it up with the US," he said.

6.30 pm India won't accept apology from US

TV reports suggest that India is not willing to accept any apology from US. Sources tell that India wants US to withdraw all charges against Devyani.

5.20 pm Kamal Nath condemns the USA

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath today condemned the incident and said: 'India can't be treated like a banana republic.' "We look forward from the United States for an unconditional apology," he said.

5.00 pm Police remove barricades

New Delhi Police removes barricades from outside the US Embassy to mark protest against the treatment meted to the Indian diplomat in the USA.

4.15 pm India seeks details

Indian government has sought the details of salaries paid to domestic helps, gardeners etc employed at US diplomats' residence in India. India has stopped all import clearances for US embassy including food and has also withdrawn airport pass issued to US diplomatic staff in India. 

4 pm Diplomat's father meets home minister

Devyani's father Uttam Khobragade met home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. "Indian government has assured me of full support", he told the media persons after meeting Shinde. Uttam also requested Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to intervene to bring his daughter back to India."It is the government who has send my daughter. It is a political issue between these two countries and my daughter is being made a scapegoat,he said.

3 pm BJP questions govt action

BJP leaders questioned the UPA government's action on the diplomat's arrest. Senior party leader Jaswant Singh said the only way to respond is through reciprocity.

2.30 pm MoS, MEA promises diplomatic help for Devyani

Treatment meted out to Devyani is unfortuante. Will do everything possible on a diplomatic level, said Preneet Kaur, MoS, MEA.

12 pm Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi refuse to meet US delegation

On Tuesday morning, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi refused to meet US delegates team.

11.30 am Devyani's father to meet Shinde

Sources said Devyani's father Uttam Khobragade was set to meet Shinde on Tuesday. He said that his daughter was being made a scapegoat. he also demanded an apology from US government.

10.00 am Meira Kumar, Shivshankar Menon refuse to meet US delegation

On Monday, National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar had refused to meet a US delegation. Reacting sharply against how the Indian diplomat was dealt with, India on Tuesday asked US diplomats to turn their identity cards.

Menon called the US act barbaric and said US has insulted an entire nation.

Strip-searched, ill-treated

US officials, on Monday evening, revealed that Devyani Khobragade was strip-searched and confined with drug addicts. Devyani, India's deputy consul general in New York, was arrested in a visa fraud case.

Sources said that Devyani was also subjected to DNA swabbing.

The incident has led to a diplomatic standoff between India and US. India described the incident as 'unacceptable' and in protest, speaker Meira Kumar and NSA Shivshankar Menon refused to meet a Congressional delegation on Monday.

"We are expecting other nations to respect our diplomats", said an Indian official, indicating that Indian government should react strongly against how Devyani was dealt by New York officials.

Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh summoned US ambassador Nancy Powell and protested the ill-treatment of Devyani.

'Violated Article 40'

Ministry of External Affairs on Monday said the US violated Article 40 of Vienna Convention.

"This is in grave violation of the Vienna Convention. The US authorities knew she was a diplomat and yet they deliberately humiliated her. The US is well aware of the legal status of the case with the domestic help which was being pursued in a court of law in India. In fact India sought US help in the case. Yet the deliberate insult," sources said.

39-year-old Dr Khobragade is a 1999 batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer. She was arrested was on her way to drop her children to school when she was stopped by the police and handcuffed in full public view.

Khobragade protested immediately saying she is a diplomat and enjoys immunity.

"We followed standard procedures"

However, the New York Police sources said they were "following orders" that came from "higher ups." Standard procedures were followed during the diplomat's detention, said New York police officials.

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