NEW DELHI, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- The diplomatic row between India and the U.S. over the arrest and subsequent strip-search of a woman Indian diplomat in New York last week seems to be escalating with each passing day.
Indian Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath on Thursday demanded nothing less than "an apology" from the U.S. over the incident, a day after American Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly called up National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon and expressed his "regret" over the issue in a bid to ease the tension.
"Just regretting and completing a formality is not acceptable. We are not happy (with) the way they have handled this case, their behaviour and attitude, they will have to apologize. They should admit that they have committed a mistake and only then will we be satisfied," Nath told the media.
Later in the day, the External Affairs Ministry reacted to a statement by Preet Bharara, the U.S. federal prosecutor, under whose instructions India's deputy consul general in New York, Devyani Khobragade, was arrested and strip-searched there last Thursday on charges of visa fraud and underpaying her maid.
Though the 39-year-old diplomat, who is currently out on bail, has denied all the charges, the U.S. prosecutor tried to justify the arrest, saying in a statement that "Khobragade was accorded courtesies well beyond what other defendants... are accorded. The agents arrested her in the most discreet way possible."
However, the External Affairs Ministry fumed, saying, "There is only one victim in this case, that victim is Devyani Khobragade. There were no courtesies in the treatment that was meted out to the diplomat."
India has already scaled down diplomatic privileges extended to American diplomats in this country, including withdrawal of diplomatic ID cards issued by the government, taking away airport passes, and removing extra security barricades outside the U.S. Embassy in the Indian capital.
Kerry expresses "regret" over diplomatic row with India
WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday expressed "regret" and "concern" about U.S.-India relations being hurt by a festering row over the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York.
In his talks over the phone with Indian National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, the top American envoy "empathizes with the sensitivities we are hearing from India about the events that unfolded after Ms. Khobragade's arrest," as he is a father of two daughters about the same age as Devyani Khobragade, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said. Full story
India protests U.S. arrest of diplomat in New York
NEW DELHI, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh Friday summoned U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy Powell in connection with arrest of its Deputy Consul General in New York, Devyani Khobragade said official sources here.Full story