Didn't violate rules, Devyani Khobragade defends herself after MEA action
New Delhi, Dec 21: Devyani Khobragade, the Indian diplomat who was taken off her duties as the director in the partnership development division by the ministry of external affairs, defended herself saying she did not violate any rule under the civil services act. [Devyani Khobragade stripped of her duties]
Khobragade, who made the headlines last year after facing arrest and strip search in the US that created a huge uproar in the Indian media and politics, was put under the compulsory watch because she did not take prior permission before issuing statements to the media, the MEA said. Procuring dual passports for her minor children was another reason for which the diplomat earned the MEA's wrath.
According to some quarters, Khobragade's interview to a news channel a week ago was seen as an attempt to disrupt the Indo-US relations which have begun to look up under the new government of Narendra Modi. The Indian prime minister visited the US in September and also invited US President Barack Obama to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in January.
Khobragade said she spoke to the media within the ambit of the rules as she had mentioned that she was expressing her personal views. She said she never took a negative stand on the government's policies and might appeal against the decision.
On the issue of her children's passports, she said her children were born in the USA and were considered citizens of that country as per rules of both India and the USA.
Khobragade, a 1999 Indian Foreign Service officer, was arrested and strip-searched in New York in December last year on charges of ill-treating her domestic help.
The Indian government had taken up the matter with the US. The matter had such a far-reaching effect that the then US ambassador to India Nancy Powell quit her post.