Indian diplomat arrest: Khurshid says U.S. action unacceptable

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New Delhi, December 17:  India on Tuesday said it has taken “very seriously” the treatment meted out to its Deputy Consul General in New York Devyani Khobragade by the US authorities and that it has “put in motion” the process to deal with the issue in an “effective way”.

Asserting that the action by the US authorities was “completely unacceptable”, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said India has conveyed deep distress and sense of disquiet to the American government and whatever needs to be done was being done.

“We have put in motion what we believe would be effective way of addressing the issue but also (put) in motion such steps that need to be taken to protect her dignity,” he told reporters here.

“We have expressed our deep distress and sense of disquiet that has been very very strongly felt, in strongest words possible. We have communicated the sense that we feel (to the US),” he said.

39-year-old Khobragade, a 1999-batch IFS officer, was taken into custody last week on a street in New York as she was dropping her daughter to school and handcuffed in public on visa fraud charges before being released on a $ 250,000 bond after pleading not guilty in court.

“We feel both in terms of diplomatic responsibilities of relationships between friendly countries but also we feel very extreme level of distress in terms of human element that’s involved,” Mr. Khurshid said.

The External Affairs Minister said there were some “larger issues” involved and the government will deal with them at a later stage.

“The person of the officer being subjected to that form of indignity for us is completely unacceptable. I can only say this to you that whatever needs to be done is being done. It is already in process,” he said.

“I think there are some larger issues involved. We will deal with them in good time,” Mr. Khurshid said.

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