The India-USA spat: Is it really over a Diplomat and her underpaid Maid?

“The Sangeeta Richards [the maid] episode brings to mind the 2004 affair of Army Major and CIA mole, Rabinder Singh, who was serving as a joint secretary in the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), when he escaped to the United States with his wife after causing untold damage to India’s national interests and security. Former RAW special secretary and head of the counter-intelligence unit, Amar Bhushan, uncovered the scandal in his book, Escape to Nowhere. It seems Indian intelligence was aware of Singh’s betrayal and was monitoring him closely for three months when he suspected that he had been unmasked and escaped via Kathmandu with the help of the CIA station chief there.”

NiTiCentral Masthead

timthumb The Richards family’s instant visas and overnight escape from Delhi to NYC, a day before diplomat Devyani Khobragde’s arrest, suggests there is more to it than meets the eye

Sandhya Jain
Political Analyst, Niti Central

Devyani Khobragade, the diplomat who was publicly handcuffed, arrested and subjected to indecent body searches and locked up with lumpen drug addicts and other convicts prior to receiving bail last week, could have inadvertently compromised Indian security by harbouring a mole in her domestic establishment. A top strategic expert, who wished to remain unnamed, says it is important that India understand how Khobragade engaged Sangeeta Richards, the nanny-cum-housekeeper behind the trouble, and took her to America.

That there is a larger conspiracy behind the episode is evident from the fact that on December 10, two days before the diplomat’s arrest (December 12), Sangeeta Richards’s husband, Philip, and two children quietly flew to America by an Air India flight.

Somebody in Washington had helped them procure visas, a highly unusual development, since the Indian Government had revoked Sangeeta Richards’s official passport in July and asked for her to be deported to India. Usually such a dramatic evacuation is done only to protect US spies; hence it is important to investigate the Richard family, its associations, and bank accounts.

Sangeeta and Philip RichardsThe Richard family seems well networked with the diplomatic community. Sangeeta’s father-in-law reportedly works in the American embassy in Delhi; her mother-in-law is said to have worked for a senior US diplomat; her husband, Philip, was a driver with the Mozambique embassy.

Philip was granted a T-visa, which allows victims of human trafficking and immediate family members to remain and work temporarily in the United States if they agree to assist law enforcement in testifying against the perpetrators. This suggests a larger conspiracy.

Sangeeta Richards arrived in the US in November 2012 to work as a domestic help for India’s deputy consul general in New York. She allegedly wanted to do extra work outside on her off days, but was told it was illegal under her visa status and because she had an official passport.

But on June 23, she simply walked out, and two weeks later turned up at an immigration attorney’s firm in Manhattan, New York, alleging that she was overworked and underpaid. She had clearly rustled up some powerful support, or was known to the US authorities all along, given the employment profile of her marital family.

The MEA [India’s Foreign Ministry] has since revealed that on July 1, 2013 Devyani Khobragade received a telephone call from an unidentified woman who said Richards would not go to court if her employment was terminated and she was paid for 19 hours of work per day.

On July 2, the diplomat informed the Office of Foreign Missions and the New York Police Department about the call, in writing. But on July 8, she was called by the immigration lawyer’s office and asked to pay $10,000, convert Sangeeta Richards’s passport into an ordinary one and help her get a visa to stay on in America.

Alarmed at this development, the Indian Government revoked Richards’s official passport, which made her status illegal in the US, and asked the State Department to locate and send her back to India. The request was repeated in September; the same month, the Delhi High Court issued an interim injunction restraining Richards from instituting any action or proceeding against Khobragade outside India regarding her employment and to settle all disputes in India as both women worked for the Government of India. T

he Indian mission informed the US authorities that as the maid was seeking a US visa, she was violating laws in both countries. On November 21, 2013 the Saket district court issued a non-bailable warrant for Sangeeta Richards, and India asked the US to help serve the warrant and repatriate the maid.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) clearly erred in not issuing an immigration alert for Richards’s husband and children once the State Department proved so uncooperative, and since Philip Richards initially filed a missing persons report about his wife but later withdrew it. The authorities took six days after Khobragade’s arrest to realise that the family had flown the coop.

With hindsight, it seems that Richards’s walkout was part of a plan in concert with American authorities; the luckless Indian diplomat seems collateral damage. New Delhi must figure out the US game plan and enlighten the nation. Sangeeta Richards has received US hospitality for six months and now her family has surreptitiously been taken to settle in America. This makes a mockery of the US claim that Khobragade was arrested because she was not paying her staff according to the hourly minimum wage in America.

The Sangeeta Richards episode brings to mind the 2004 affair of Army Major and CIA mole, Rabinder Singh, who was serving as a joint secretary in the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), when he escaped to the United States with his wife after causing untold damage to India’s national interests and security. Former RAW special secretary and head of the counter-intelligence unit, Amar Bhushan, uncovered the scandal in his book, Escape to Nowhere. It seems Indian intelligence was aware of Singh’s betrayal and was monitoring him closely for three months when he suspected that he had been unmasked and escaped via Kathmandu with the help of the CIA station chief there.

The lesson which India never learnt is that the US compulsorily retired the Kathmandu station head to punish him for failing to evacuate Singh covertly and exposing CIA’s hand in the episode. But in India, the 57 employees of R&AW who regularly shared information with Singh remained in the organisation; 26 were not even asked for an explanation and 31 who had shared operational details with him were posted abroad.

After Dr Manmohan Singh became Prime Minister, the CIA tried to infiltrate the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), which is part of the Prime Minister’s Office. Some NSCS staffers were suspected of having clandestine links with an unnamed lady CIA officer posted as a diplomat in the US embassy in Delhi. Her task was to liaise with concerned Government departments in connection with the Indo-US Cyber Security Forum set up when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was Prime Minister. She reportedly used this opportunity to allegedly recruit moles in the NSCS, which coordinates the work of the Indo-US Cyber Security Forum.

Previously also, the Indian intelligence community has been suborned by the CIA at middle and senior levels. Just eight months after Rajiv Gandhi became Prime Minister in 1984, India’s biggest and most serious spy scandal broke, resulting in the arrest of 15 officials, including TN Kher, personal assistant to Principal Secretary PC Alexander. The scandal involved thousands of top secret documents and code books being photocopied and faxed from the PMO itself. Alexander resigned on ‘moral grounds’.

Then, the head of the R&AW office in Chennai, an IPS officer in the rank of director, was found to have clandestine contacts with a CIA officer posted in the US consulate there. Tipped off by the Intelligence Bureau (IB), R&AW immediately detained and interrogated him for one year at New Delhi’s Tihar Jail, but he was not prosecuted.

In the 1990s, when PV Narasimha Rao was Prime Minister, a very senior IPS officer serving in the IB was suspected to be working for Heidi August, a CIA officer posted as a diplomat at the US embassy in Delhi. He was exposed when a junior IB officer accidentally discovered that Heidi August had a mobile phone registered in the senior officer’s name. The officer was sent on premature retirement after the IB and R&AW confirmed his treason.

The DiplomatThis brings us back to Devyani Khobragade, who has been unjustly accused of underpaying an employee who is possibly an ‘asset’ of a foreign agency.

The Indian Government, which failed to retaliate when former President APJ Abdul Kalam was double frisked at an American airport, former Defence Minister George Fernandes was strip searched, and attempts were made to humiliate diplomat Hardeep Puri, must ensure that Washington release the diplomat unconditionally and with full apology, and explain its inexplicable interest in the Richards family.

The initial Indian reaction to the arrest – snub to a visiting Congress delegation; revocation of diplomatic IDs to US consul staff and their families; withdrawal of airport passes and import clearances; removal of security barricades around the American Embassy on Shanti Path; and demand for information about wages paid to Indians employed by the US mission and by individual diplomats in India – is inadequate given the enormity of the provocation.

The Government of India, backed as it is by the entire nation, must respond in a more muscular fashion, commensurate to the offence in which the US Government has knowingly helped Sangeeta Richards commit an immigration fraud and evade Indian justice.

In these circumstances, Secretary of State John Kerry’s telephonic apology to National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon is a meaningless diplomatic nicety since the US is standing by the arrest. Worse, the US marshal service seems to have flouted its own rules by subjecting the diplomat to intrusive strip and cavity searches, when these can be done only if there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person arrested is carrying contraband or weapons, is a repeat offender or is considered a security, escape or suicide risk. None of these conditions apply to Devyani Khobragade.

21 comments for “The India-USA spat: Is it really over a Diplomat and her underpaid Maid?

  1. sanket
    December 20, 2013 at 3:59 AM

    thank you Tarek Fatah

  2. Vineet kumar
    December 20, 2013 at 5:10 AM

    This article perfectly explains what does not meet the eye of the common man here in India. The RAW and other agencies were caught unaware it seems.

  3. Praveen
    December 20, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    Very insightful article…thanks much!

  4. Jay
    December 20, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Twisting the facts = lying
    Here are some of your lies:
    Lie- “an employee who is possibly an ‘asset’ of a foreign agency”
    Truth – Sangeetha held an A-3 visa to apply for which “Proof that the applicant will receive a fair wage, sufficient to financially support himself, comparable to that being offered in the area of employment in the U.S. is required”

    The conspiracy is on the Indian side. Here is why:

    Once the Indian authorities realized that Sangeetha has reached out to the law enforcement in the US, fearing that they will be exposed, they quickly cancelled her passport, and arranged for her arrest in India using Devyani’s father’s influence in India. The idea was to get Sangeetha out of the US before she exposes them and lock her up in India and prevent her from filing any case against Devyani.

    Why aren’t you including the fact that Devyani had one set of pay and benefits in the A-3 visa application and another contract with Sangeetha for a much lesser pay and longer hours? By doing this Devyani has lied to the US government and committed visa fraud.

    When Sangeetha went to an attorney, she wanted Devyani to pay her for what she worked for and return her passport which some reports say that Devyani was illegally holding.

    Anyone with a little common sense can very clearly see the visa fraud committed by Devyani, the mistreatment of Sangeetha and the attempted cover up by the Indian authorities and yes of course the US helped protect the affected people so that the criminals can be brought to justice. Why are you focusing on the US’ offer of protection to the victims? How else can the criminals be brought to justice if the victims are allowed to be captured and held by the conspiring Indian authorities?

    The US’ offer to protect the victims is commendable, which India is unable to offer to its own citizens. Indians are much used to the ‘right to break laws’ and ‘the right to cheat’ which unfortunately western countries don’t offer them, even to diplomats. Indians are much used to the thought that somehow the lower classes are lesser human beings and don’t deserve the same justice that the upper classes have. The lower classes exist only to be trampled upon and to be enslaved. That is why the whole nation is shocked and awed that a maid could expose the crimes committed by a government authority and have them arrested. It’s a good opportunity for Indians to learn that such fair justice that is absent in India does exists in other parts of the world.

    • raj
      January 12, 2014 at 12:14 AM

      jay u r US agent writing here. TIT FOR TAT IS ANSWER GIVE A LITTLE FREE HAND TO SPECIAL CELL in delhi. A few genuine cases can be unearthed against a few US diplomats and can b given some nice tratment in Tihar. Bottom line is US is nobodys friend.

  5. MALLIKARJUNA SHARMA
    December 21, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Jay is waxing eloquent over the so-called protection of victims by American authorities. Rs. 30,000/- per month for a domestic help is a huge amount by Indian standards. If Devyani gets about $4000 per month, then how can she pay a domestic help $4200 per month? Also if the minimum wage in US is less than $10 per hour, how can US authorities stipulate $4200 p.m. to the domestic help? All this seems to be a well-laid out conspiracy. Further how can the entire family of Sangeeta Richards be ‘evacuated’ when warrant is issued by a Delhi Court against her and when one waits for months to get US visas? Certainly Sangeeta Richards and her family needs to be called back through extradition proceedings and put in jail.

    • Jay
      December 21, 2013 at 12:15 PM

      @Mallikarjuna Sharma

      That was a very good Red Herring, but no thanks.

      Does it matter how much Devyani is getting paid and how much she stated that she would pay her maid? No it absolutely does not matter. Tell me how that applies to this case? Are you implying that it’s ok to lie and cheat if your pay is low that you can’t afford to pay for something? How about not having a maid to begin with if she can’t afford one? What matters is that Devyani committed visa fraud.

      she “willfully and knowingly did make under oath, and under penalty of perjury”…”did subscribe as true, a false statement with respect to a material fact”….”an employment contract that Khobragade knew to contain materially false and fraudulent statements, which contract was submitted in support of a visa application filed by Khobragade for another individual. ”

      I absolutely does not matter what Rs. 30,000 means by Indian standards. Period.

      • vikram
        December 21, 2013 at 3:03 PM

        Dear Jay,

        You seem to be one among the overzealous “so called” guardians of justice. Any law in the world does not declare the persona as criminal just on the basis of complaints. You are proclaiming Devyani criminal before the crime is proven in any court.

        If you are so passionate about US law of justice, you better be aware that, US sense of justice varies from who the victim is. When US bombed Iraq for some “so called” MWDs and killed thousands, none of those demonstrating noble souls came forward in protest.

        Coming back to the point, US action of evacuation of family clearly indicates lack of faith in judicial system of a sovereign country. Who told US attorneys that Indian Judicial system can’t give justice to her family and who decided that?

        The outrage is not so much about the law suit, but about the manner in which a senior diplomat is treated. Even if there is 100% merit in the case, it can’t be forgotten that there is protocol to be followed in “handling” of diplomats.

        (I am assuming that you are an Indian), it’s a matter of shame that, you seem to believe more in US “way” of justice than honor of the country.

        BTW, while you are blowing trumpet about this case, don’t forget, it was the same US media and public, which put immense pressure on government to evacuate their diplomat who shot 2 pakistani “by accident”. I guess, life of those or those of innocent Iraqis wasn’t as worth as wage paid to Sangeeta Richards.

        I am all for paying her due and abiding law of the land, but clearly there is much more than what meets eye.

        And by the way, gay sex is illegal in India. May be India should handcuff the US diplomat and throw in custody for bring his “partner”. Afterall, that would be law of the land too.

        • Jay
          December 22, 2013 at 1:29 PM

          @vikram

          I agree with you about the outrage over the manner in with Devyani was arrested and treated by the officials. India is right in condemning the arrest and intake process of an official, even though she doesn’t have full diplomatic immunity. India needs to send a loud and clear message that is it not happy with the treatment an Indian official has received in the US. But I do have a problem with India demanding the US to arbitrarily “drop all charges” against her. While the arrest process was outraging, a thorough investigation still needs to be done on the charges against Devyani and whoever is the culprit needs to be dealt with. The legal process should still continue, India should not interrupt that…if India interrupts that, where is justice for Sangeeta, who claims that injustice has been committed to her in American soil? Let’s not forget that Sangeeta is also an Indian before throwing her under the bus.

          Your comment on “lack of faith in judicial system”..of India…let’s not open that can of worms. Honestly, my feeling is that if the truth really is that Devyani had cheated Sangeeta, I don’t think Sangeeta with receive justice in India.

          While the Indian judicial system has a quite sound framework, it’s practical workings are not up to the mark of several other countries even in the developing world.

    • Nannobug
      December 31, 2013 at 9:30 PM

      Captures the context beautifully.

      May the bean counters continue with their myopic tunnel vision….

  6. MALLIKARJUNA SHARMA
    December 23, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Jay – you are missing many facts and many implications. First of all, US Govt. has nothing to do with the agreement in which that vamp was to get Rs. 30,000/- p.m. which is a huge amount. That was a wholly Indian one and executed in India. What matters is what that vamp told the visa authorities about her dollars income – she might have been asked to tell so if at all she wanted to go to US and get a visa and that vamp agreed. Actually it was she who was begging the Consular officer to take her as domestic help and praising them (Devyani’s family, her father, etc.) as Gods. Then she was told as per US norms she had to declare her income so and so etc. then only she would get visa and she agreed to that. So it was that vamp who deposed before the US Visa authorities about the so-called $4200 p.m, income and mind it Devyani, the Consular Officer herself does not get more than $4500 p.m. Hence if at all a visa fraud is there, it is mainly by that vamp and Devyani only aided her. Devyani is a consular officer and as an officer she might have attested the agreement. So, one has to see if it is purely a private agreement or done in the capacity of Devyani as consular officer. If it is in discharge of her consular functions, then Devyani will be immune from criminal jurisdiction of US Courts. The way Indian govt is emphatically supporting Devyani shows that it has something to do with her official functions. Even otherwise Devyani could not be searched in her cavities; a consular officer is entitled to all due respect and civilities even if arrest and detention become imperative. That is what a Pakistani female diplomat has written about how much respect and civilities they accorded to a US citizen who was involved in two gory murders in Pakistan though strictly speaking he had no diplomatic immunity even. So on this brusque treatment meted out to Devyani and on the arrest itself – there was no need to arrest, a notice would have served the purpose and if she did not appear before the court then other methods could be thought of – are atrocious. Moreover she was not charged with underpayment of wages which was an offence under Fair Labor Standards but was a civil tort and attracted a maximum amount of equivalent sum of penalty. Why they chose this course of foisting a criminal case? And then the minimum wage in US does not exceed $10 per hour and if it be so, how can they fix $4200 p.m, for a domestic help from India? Do the Americans here pay even $420 to the domestic servants they engage? Even a McDonalds Worker in America does not get more than $2000 p.m. and usually just $1500 p.m, or so.
    Further a warrant was already issued against that vamp by the Delhi Court and the US authorities know about that. In such circumstances they could not issue visa to any of her relatives who were coming to US at her instance. Legal proceedings were pending against them also. And that Manhattan Attorney talks of ‘evacuation’ of those wretched persons as a measure of witness protection. That means they care two hoots for our judicial system and our laws and arrogate themselves to be the ultimate commanders. So, the only cure for this illness of their power intoxication and racial arrogance is to lodge a complaint with ICJ, Hague and get interim relief of stay of all criminal proceedings against Devyani and I am sure there will be no problem in this if only the Indian Govt makes bold to do so. In a number of cases, ICJ found US guilty of violations of international law norms – even against Mexico etc. and issued interim orders against US Govt. Secondly, the Indian authorities have to apply for the extradition of that vamp and her family from US and if US doesn’t oblige that also has to be complained to ICJ. If a tougher govt is there in India, it is better to put in jail one or two US diplomats in jail here until they release our consular officer from all bonds and extradite these guilty traitors – Sangeeta Richards and her family.

  7. R Prasad
    December 24, 2013 at 4:37 AM

    Who will bell the cat. Indian Babus and Netas treat USA as their Mecca.
    None will dare to annoy USA. They holiday in USA. Their children study in USA. They emigrate to USA. They go for medical treatment to USA.
    The average wage for unskilled and semi-skilled workers in US is USD 1,500 p.m. Millions of persons work without wages in US in the hope of getting a job? Why no-body including the US/Pak sponsored NGOs are informing public about these facts.
    It is a case of the kettle (us) calling the pot (indian diplomats) black”.

  8. Jay
    December 24, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    @ M Sharma

    Your reply is full of emotions and anger….but it’s interesting that you do say that “Devyani only aided her.”..isn’t that a fraud? HAH?! As a consular officer you can’t just sign a document with fraudulent information and later say that “I was only aiding someone to commit a fraud”. She did sign a document that she already knew that had fraudulent information….””an employment contract that Khobragade knew to contain materially false and fraudulent statements, which contract was submitted in support of a visa application filed by Khobragade for another individual. ”….and that is wrong.

    The $4,500 amount is not necessarily the amount set by the US govt, but it is the amount Devyani gave in the application, because the charge actually is that….”The Visa Application stated that Witness-l was to be paid $4,500 per month in US dollars”. The US requirement is not necessarily $4,500.

    With that said, I do agree with you on the arrest, search and treatment of Devyani…India is right to condemn the process….but at the same time let the investigation and legal process take its course.

  9. Neeraj
    December 26, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    @Jay, first off…hope you are not an anti-indian stooge of U.S.A posting here!!!

    (1) Getting ’emotional’ doesn’t mean being unreasonable. Humans are emotional. The U.S folks are one of the most emotional people, especially their consular officials. On a day when there is an ‘attack’/’issue’ on/with the U.S (irrespective of U.S.A’s complicity), 99% of U.S visa applications, irrespective of their category, would be rejected by the consular officials. I know four such cases of my friends. I guess you wouldn’t call it emotional !!!

    (2) If you are in the U.S, I guess you should try getting arrested, strip searched and ‘cavity probed’ by U.S marshal services, and then dumped in a cell with unkempt drug-addicts, without any toilet, to understand what it feels to be humiliated/violated. It would be even better if a close female family member of yours would be subject to such ‘niceties’ in the U.S. Perhaps we may then discuss ’emotions’ and the ‘appropriate’ way of responding.

    Till then, you may share your mighty, idealistic ‘victorian’ thought processes about U.S.A humiliating Indian Diplomats and how GoI should respond to it.

    • Len
      December 27, 2013 at 1:29 AM

      Jay is right to a Point.. of either being brain dead or expecting others to be. The facts are out of context as presented by him. The fabrication of information is something he is aptly able to regurgitate, kudos for that. But seriously get a brain or use yours if you haven’t yet ungifted yours.

  10. Truth_i_speak
    December 27, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    @Jay!
    You look to be corrupted soul …just like hackers. A brain for bad intentions. You drum your chest with hollow words to appease USA. Do you remember similar case China had and Mr. Collin Powell personally apologized to China. Forget man!
    If you are living in USA.. I am sure … you are one of those crowd who put their heart and soul to please US to get some favors1

    • Jay
      January 2, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      I see that this has turned into personal attacks and name calling instead of objective discussion. It’s interesting how you are a “corrupted soul” or a “brain dead person” if you don’t support a corrupt officer dad pulling strings in a corrupt government, trying to protect his corrupt daughter (just read the corruption scandals that his dad – daughter duo has been involved in). No wonder India ranks among the top in the world in corruption.

  11. Madhu
    January 1, 2014 at 8:07 AM

    US is well known for its double standards. It’s about time India stood up and stand firm against US. This is the country that backs Saudi Arabia, a medieval state that suppresses female rights and has no democracy. US has no principles it knows only self interest.

  12. Vivek
    January 5, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    Was the maid underpaid?? Or is the Maid an illegal immigrant being helped by some self righteous and self serving US lawyers seeking publicity and a hefty settlement.

    The US Prosecution is mistaken on salary of the maid and will be sued for wrongful arrest.

    Other things that need to be corrected in Indo-US relationship

    Read below:

    Question: Was the Maid’s Salary of US 4500 $ or 1450 $ a month?? Was she underpaid?? or not??

    NYC minimum wage is US 7.25 $ per hour

    http://jobsearch.about.com/b/2013/12/27/new-york-minimum-wage-increases-2014.htm

    So if the Maid worked 8 hours a day and 25 days a month this works out to

    8 hours * 7.25 $ * 25 days = 1450 US $ per month is her salary

    The Salary due is only 1450 US $ and not 4500 $ a month as per US laws.

    Of this the maid was paid 500 $ a month in cash
    Shortfall is 950 US $ = which was paid to her in KIND.
    Compute the value of:

    1. Free stay in Manhattan – with electricity, water and heating.
    2. Free food 3 meals each day.
    3. Cell phone, tv etc.
    4. Free travel from India
    5. Free medical care in the USA

    If you monetize the cost of these perks – it would EXCEED the value of 1450 $.

    IF the maid had rented her own apartment – travelled to and from work and paid for her food then she would have been spending her entire 1450 $ salary.

    Instead she was given everything free (food, stay, travel etc) and 500 $ in cash.
    So the maid was compensated well ABOVE the minimum wage in NYC.
    So what underpayment are we talking about??

    Question: Was the Maid underpaid:??
    Ans: Most certainly not.
    If you compute all the perks and the cash given to her – she was paid well above the minimum wage.

    Immigration to the USA:

    The Maid went to the USA on a Indian Govt. passport – which is issued to Govt. Employees and not to an average Indian citizen. The condition is that she will work in the consulate and cannot work outside the Indian official premises. This is a US requirement and not an
    Indian requirement in order to prevent visa fraud and illegal immigration.

    The maid got greedy, she absconded from her place of work and went to a lawyer.

    The American lawyer tried to first BLACKMAIL the Indian diplomat asking for 10,000 $ cash and a Blue (ordinary) passport so the maid would get money and run away in America.

    If the Indian diplomat had acceded to the 10,000 $ payment and issued a Blue passport – she would have been guilty of US Visa fraud as she would have paid money to the maid and
    helped her become an illegal immigrant in the USA.

    The correct thing to do in this case is to send the maid back to India; cancel the white Govt. passport.

    If the maid wants to come back to the USA she should first return to India and then get an ordinary (blue) passport and apply to the US consul in India for a NEW visa stating her actual income and job and reason to visit the USA.
    She should not a use Govt. issued white passport with an existing visa give to her by the US embassy which thinks the Maid is going for Indian Govt. work.

    The diplomat reported this matter to the US police and to the Indian court. A warrant was issued to the Maid for appearance in India by an Indian court. The family of the maid was questioned by the Indian police to trace the maid in USA to file a missing person complaint as that is a requirement of US law.

    Now we know the background – who then is guilty of visa fraud? the Maid or the Diplomat??

    Question: Is the maid guilty of visa fraud
    Answer: Most certainly yes – aided by her lawyer in the USA she has been able to manipulate the system in the USA.

    Question: IS the Indian diplomat guilty of Visa fraud:
    Answer: Certainly Not.
    She reported the matter to the US and Indian authorities and tried to get the maid
    back to India to PREVENT the Maid from abusing the Indian Govt. passport and the visa issued by the Embassy of US.

    US Action:
    Instead of arresting the maid for illegal immigration and black mail – the US police arrested the Indian diplomat without ascertaining the correct facts of the case!!!! Then they
    stripped her and cavity searched her. This in India culture is considered a
    grave insult. As women are given respect. No Indian courts condone such acts to women in India.

    The US establishment in New York is guilty of a false arrest.
    The US consul in New Delhi is guilty of aiding and abetting in the illegal immigration of the maid and her family in the false plea of under payment of wages.

    – This is laughable as there is NO underpayment of wages in the first place.

    Question: Did the US Authorities apply their mind in the arrest.
    Answer: Most certainly not. Instead of talking to the Indians and understanding their point of view they went ahead and arrested the diplomat and humiliated the symbol of India in
    the USA.
    The lady is a diplomat and she is not going to run away.

    India needs to sue the New York Police / State Dept. for illegal confinement, torture, negative publicity, aiding and abetting in illegal immigration to the USA; and misinterpretation of the law to harass an Indian diplomat.

    Other Things that India should do to the US for targeting Indian Diplomats – as this is now a TREND in USA.

    1. Find US officials guilty of breaking laws in India and prosecute them – the way they prosecute Indians in USA for apparently breaking US laws.

    2. Removal of security barriers is a FIRST step. The US removed barriers from the Indian embassy in Washington DC and they have been repaid in the same coin.

    If US Embassy does NOT feel safe in New Delhi the fault lies with their policies and funding of
    Pakistan and Afghanistan who are the terrorists.
    American Embassy is welcome to leave New Delhi and relocate in Pakistan along with their F-16’s and another give another 5 billion $ aid package to Pakistan.

    3. Asking for working details and tax and salaries of US embassy and consulates is another step. This effectively is a notice to the US embassy by the Indians. Prosecution should logically follow when the replies are submitted for all the tax evasions the US embassy
    has been doing in India.

    4. Indian courts need to US Consul a notice asking how a visa was issued to the maid’s family for ‘evacuation’ from India? Why is the US is evading Indian Justice?
    The maid is the illegal immigrant. Not the Diplomat.
    Instead of allowing the case of the maid to be examined in Indian courts – the US embassy is actually conspiring against the Indian justice system.

    5. Prosecution for giving the family a tax exempt air-ticket should happen. This facility should be withdrawn for the US Embassy. They should be made to pay tax with retrospective
    effect on this as they have been abusing this system.

    6. Indian IT workers pay US $ 1 billion to US social service each year and get nothing back. A special tax needs to be levied on US companies working in India to equalize this loss to
    India. If the Americans tax Indians we need to tax them back.

    7. All Defence deals need to be reviewed.
    If the US will arrest Indian diplomats in such flimsly pretext it shows they are NOT to be TRUSTED.
    The next time India has a war the US will surely stop supplies to India.
    Stop purchasing arms from the USA and do it from countries like Russia or France of Israel which will not let India down in the event of a war and are not a fair weather friend like the USA.

    It is good the US arrested and stripped and Indian Diplomat

    This action has lead to the AWAKENING of India waking to the REALITY of America
    India Govt. should work in the interest of India rather than putting the Americans in a pedestal and giving them undue advantage in so many issues.

  13. Jitender Singh
    January 8, 2014 at 12:26 AM

    Really, to me your words look like an opinion rather than facts,
    I don’t need to write much to prove my point. If Devyani has done nothing wrong that why don’t she face the test of truth in court.

    Ohhh boy the day she will be indicted and when this evidences comes out during discovery than you might wanna hide your words.

    You might regret waisting your time writing such a big articles.

  14. Peter
    January 14, 2014 at 12:48 AM

    You fell to the usual WEST trap- let’s debate until the point is so muddled everybody has been distracted by other minor points. The main point is the spying done by the CIA on all countries and undermining democratic processes & principles in the process.
    The basic American formulas:let them DEBATE as democratic facade but what really matters is the muscle, maneuvers and other subterfuge being done underneath, that brings more results, and if anybody noticed the shenanigans, you can always claim democracy as cover.
    The American strategy has been greatly weakened lately because so many countries are “balking” already, and are actually not cowed anymore to show their displeasure. India’s very minor reactions are a good start. But it should remember that per GDP-PPP India is now the 4th biggest economy in 2013, bigger than any European country, so it should be more forceful, just like the other countries are resisting openly and winning their way like China & Russia, Brazil and even the smaller countries of Latin America. The world has changed, and a multi-polar world not controlled and abused by one will be nicer than the current hypocritical one

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