Outrage in Rajya Sabha over diplomat Devyani Khobragade's arrest

Devyani Khobragade row stirs debate
New Delhi, Dec 18: Members in the Rajya Sabha expressed outrage on Wednesday over the arrest and humiliation of Indian diplomat, Devyani Khobragade.

While opposition leader Arun Jaitley called for a review of India's foreign policy, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma described it as a "national outrage" and said the government had taken a stern view of it.

He promised an official statement in the house.

Jaitley said it was time India insisted on being treated like equals. "If we conduct foreign policy in a manner that we're taken for granted, then these incidents will be repeated. "We need to introspect where we stand on foreign policy," he said, adding that the retaliatory measures India has taken needed to be continued.

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said the government should take up the case seriously as the diplomat was a Dalit. She accused New Delhi of waking up late.

Leaders of political parties demanded strict action

Communist Party of India-Marxist's Sitaram Yechury said: "There have been cabinet members in the NDA and UPA governments who have been subjected to such (treatment).

"This cannot be accepted by any sovereign nation. The attitude needs to change."

Trinamool Congress member Derek O'Brien targetted the US: "We live in a global village but we don't need a self-appointed global village headman. "It is time now to codify all privileges India provides to US diplomats and the privileges our diplomats receive in the US."

DMK's Kanimozhi complained that time and again Indian leaders had been mistreated in the US.

Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav said India seemed to suffer from an inferiority complex, which, he felt, "is very sad".

The demand for discussing the issue was raised as soon as the upper house met. Chairman M. Hamid Ansari adjourned the house for 15 minutes and consulted all party leaders before the debate was taken up.


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